Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Gorilla Milk: Antidote to Liver Disease?

NPR this morning reported on recent medical findings that coffee consumption may protect against liver damage in alcoholism. Not just slightly, but robustly. In fact, in this study, alcoholics who consumed four cups of joe a day had one-fifth the incidence of liver cirrhosis, compared to those who drink no coffee (where the found the latter group is somewhat a mystery to me.)

This news is of particular import here in the Smallish State. You may recall I mentioned last week that Moxie is the official beverage of the Smallish State. I forgot, however, to mention that the unofficial state beverage is Allen’s Coffee Brandy. If you don’t live here, you’d have trouble imagining the significance of this product. ACB is usually combined with milk into a concoction known as a “sombrero” or “gorilla milk” (or, as I just learned, “fat ass in a glass”). It is consumed in vast quantities, from the streets of Smallish City (I have found empty bottles in my driveway) to the most remote logging sites of the north woods. And when I say “vast quantities”, I mean that in the Smallish State ACB outsells the next-best-selling hard alcohol by a factor of 2:1. And has done so, year in and out, for decades. Everyone here can list the advantages of ACB—it’s cheap, it’s sweet, it goes down easy, and the caffeine keeps you awake to run the skidder, chainsaw, or maple syrup evaporater all night long. What no one can really explain is why the rest of the country, let alone world, doesn’t guzzle the stuff the way we do. (See recent Washington Post article for more information.)

But back to the point, which is that by combining alcohol and coffee directly in our state drink, Smallish State residents may for years have been protecting themselves against liver damage. Truly, this should be looked into. I might do it. And I might buy stock in Allen’s before I publish my findings.


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