#133: Alcohol: the Science, Health & Politics ~Prof. David Nutt

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Professor David Nutt joins us for a remarkable deep dive into the history, health effects and our long relationship with Alcohol. This is a fascinating historical, scientific and psychological insight into Alcohol use that you simply won’t hear anywhere else. 

Whether you are an occasional drinker, heavy drinker, or a non-drinker, this episode offers you the one-stop education on Alcohol that seems to have skipped us all by… and very much by design it turns out. All delivered in an easy going, compassionate and pragmatic way by Prof Nutt. 

This is not a name and shame episode. This is not about vilifying and demonising alcohol use. It’s not an episode that seeks to scare you witless, or to encourage a return to prohibition. Far from it – instead this is about understanding how to get the social and emotional benefits from alcohol whilst being cognisant of the health risks. 

Prof David Nutt has definitely earned his stripes to act as an authority on this subject. He’s an english neuro-psycho-pharmacologist currently at the prestigious Imperial College London –  specialising in the research of drugs that affect the brain and conditions such as addiction, anxiety, and sleep. He has worked as an advisor to the Ministry of Defence, Department of Health, and the Home Office. 

He has published several other marquee studies on the effects of drugs that are being closely leverage the world over, and most recently released the most comprehensive and accessible book on the reality of Alcohol Drinking on Health and Longevity called Drink?: The New Science of Alcohol & Your Health. 

This is a must-listen. It’s one of those that you should share with care to your friends and family. We all need to up our understanding of Alcohol, so we can use it wisely for max benefit and managing the risks. 

Here’s what we discuss

  1. Quick intro into Prof. Nutt’s career
  2. Can you have an optimised life and drink alcohol?
  3. Are there risks associated with small amounts of alcohol during your life?
  4. How effective is Therapy/CBT in understanding and controlling your drinking?
  5. How can you self-assess if you have a problem with Alcohol?
  6. Why is there no warning label on alcoholic drinks?
  7. The effects of keeping within the weekly limit of 14 units
  8. The non-linear effects of Alcohol on the Body and Brain
  9. Can you reverse all damage from Alcohol to organs and the brain?
  10. What’s happening a a neurotransmitter level to make us feel and act differently?
  11. The health implications connected with binge drinking
  12. Alcohol’s special relationship with Cancer
  13. Can you balance the negative effects of Alcohol with other lifestyle choices?
  14. Is it your psychology or the effects of alcohol that cause bad decision making?
  15. Exploring Steve’s history of binge drinking and poor decision making
  16. Are there health benefits from drinking appropriate amounts of Alcohol?
  17. How do you test for liver damage?
  18. If Prof. Nutt was Prime Minister, what Alcohol-related changes would he make?


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Where to find PROF. DAVID NUTT and his work


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