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Drink as Much as You Want and Live Longer
by Frederick M. Beyerlein (195 pages, Loompanics Unlimited, $14.95)

We have Frederick Beyerlein, a nutritionist, and those fantastic people at Loompanics Unlimited to thank for this one.  I like the book.  It delivers a sane message that Americans need to hear- drinking is a good thing and if done properly it doesn't have to be a destructive thing.

Beyerlein's book is chock full of information on how to better take care of your body before, during, and after drinking.  It has a chapter on protecting your liver with herbs, "Lipotropic factors," anti-oxidants and more; another on how to prevent a beer belly, and so forth.

Beyerlein's main message, it seems, is that you need to drink lots of water and take loads of vitamins on a regular basis.  Boozing wreaks hell on your body, poisoning cells, depleting vitamins, and dehydrating the body.  Water is needed to flush away the poison (which alcohol is) and vitamins are obligatory in order to protect and repair it. In a country where a great deal of the population is stubbornly committed to gorging themselves on enormous amounts of meat and potatoes, a very unhealthy diet, it's great to hear someone exhorting folks to consume fruits and vegetables.

On the downside, the title of the book is a bit deceptive.  Drink as much as you want and live longer?  Yes, if you already drink like crazy, then following Beyerlein's advice will keep you feeling better and help you live longer.  But if you aren't, don't get the idea that you can start swigging a fifth of vodka a day and live to be 100 just because you take hands-fulls of vitamins.

But there's no evidence to suggest that Beyerlein's dictums will entirely wipeout the effects of sucking down a bottle of whiskey or a 12-pack a day.  No matter how many vitamins you gobble, large quantities of booze will kill you. 

Furthermore, the more you drink, the less likely you will be to bother to follow this advice.  Really, now, how many drunkards have you known are going to take the time to buy fresh fruits and vegetables and juice them or make them into meals?  Somehow I don't see it happening.  Most alkies I've known have terrible diets.  Partially it is a function of the slothful stupor they're in, partially its because they don't care whether they live longer.

Gripes aside, the book has good advice for those of us who drink.  And the title of this book alone makes it worth buying.  Give it to some sot you know as a joke.  Give it to some teetotaler just to aggravate him.  Keep a copy on your desk at work just to get your coworkers gossiping.  Pitch a copy in the backseat of a friend who often gets pulled over for speeding.  The possibilities for humor are many.

-F. Sot Fitzgerald

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