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  • Alice: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Alice.

  • Rob: And I'm Rob.

  • Alice: You look very pale, Rob. Are you OK?

  • Rob: Well, I was at a rather boozy wedding party last night.

  • And I had a bit too much champagne.

  • Do you know any good hangover cures?

  • Alice: A hangover is the headache and sickness you can feel after drinking too much alcohol.

  • And a cure is something that makes you better.

  • Well, I'm teetotal. I don't drink alcohol.

  • So, I'd say the best hangover cure is not to drink in the first place.

  • Rob: You don't believe in hair of the dog then?

  • Alice: No, Rob, I don't.

  • Hair of the dog is the belief that drinking more alcohol

  • when you already have a hangover will make you feel better!

  • And boozy means lots of alcohol.

  • Rob: I can see I'm not going to get much sympathy from you.

  • So I'm going to take a couple of painkillers and let you tell everyone

  • what the subject of today's show is.

  • Alice: Alright then. Well, it's drinking too much, Rob.

  • And I have a question for you.

  • What is the name of the main process involved in producing alcohol?

  • Is it... a) fermentation? b) hydration?

  • Or c) purification?

  • Rob: OK, I know it has something to do with water so I'm going to go for b) hydration.

  • It rings a bell from chemistry lessons at school.

  • Alice: Well, we'll find out later on in the show whether you were listening carefully in class, Rob.

  • Rob: Well, er... no comment.

  • Alice: Well, most people are aware of the links between smoking and cancer,

  • but fewer are aware that drinking alcohol is linked to an increased risk of future health problems.

  • The UK government is currently trying to raise awareness

  • with their new guidelines on how much it's safe to drink.

  • Let's hear what Dr Michael Moseley has to say about health risks.

  • Dr Michael Moseley: Unfortunately whatever level of alcohol you are drinking

  • it is likely to increase your risk of some forms of cancer,

  • particularly breast cancer, but also other rarer forms of cancer like head, neck, and the throat.

  • The rest are quite low at moderate drinking but they do rise rapidly.

  • Rob: So any drinking at all

  • even one small glass of wine with your evening meal

  • raises your risk of cancer? Is that right?

  • Alice: Yes. And the health risk increases with the amount you drink.

  • Rob: But I thought wine was supposed to be good for you?

  • Alice: It's a popular belief, but medical evidence doesn't seem to support this view.

  • Let's listen to Dr Michael Moseley again on this.

  • Dr Michael Moseley: Now there's long been this idea

  • there is this marvellous stuff in red wine called 'resveratrol'

  • which is said to reduce your risk of all sorts of things.

  • Unfortunately the amount you'd have to consume would be so huge

  • that the downsides of drinking red wine would swiftly overwhelm them.

  • Rob: And the downside of something means the disadvantages.

  • Now Alice, what's your favourite tipple?

  • Alice: Well, I don't have one Rob because I'm teetotal, remember?

  • A tipple is another way of saying 'an alcoholic drink'.

  • I enjoy beetroot and kale smoothies with a dash of turmeric and ground pepper.

  • Rob: Kale? Yuk, that's disgusting!

  • Now, a smoothie is a thick drink made of fruit or vegetables blended with milk or yogurt or water.

  • Well, I like sweet stuff... maybe a banana smoothie with some honey,

  • but beetroot and kale sounds disgusting!

  • Alice: Don't knock it until you've tried it.

  • And that means to try something before you criticize it.

  • Rob: OK, OK, but seriously.

  • A glass of wine makes me happy and relaxed.

  • And there are health studies that suggest being happy is good for your health.

  • Alice: That's true, but eating and drinking healthily makes me happy!

  • Now moving on, it's important to put the risk of drinking alcohol...

  • Rob: ...or horrible vegetable smoothies...

  • Alice: ... in context.

  • Statistically, drinking alcohol regularly represents just under 1% lifetime risk of death.

  • But actually an hour of TV watching

  • or eating a bacon sandwich a couple of times a week is more dangerous.

  • Rob: Well, that's what I like to hear!

  • Though... what if I'm watching TV, enjoying a beer and a lovely bacon sandwich,

  • does that triple my lifetime risk of death?

  • Alice: Well, Rob, you better ask Professor David Spiegelhalter at the University of Cambridge that question.

  • I was quoting him earlier about the TV watching and the bacon sandwich.

  • He works with statistics, but this is for another programme.

  • Now, let's get on to the serious matter of today's quiz question. I asked:

  • What is the name of the main process involved in producing alcohol?

  • Is it... a) fermentation, b) hydration or c) purification?

  • Rob: Well, I said b) hydration.

  • Though you were skeptical, weren't you, Alice?

  • Alice: Yes. And I was right to be skeptical, which means 'doubtful',

  • because b) is the wrong answer I'm afraid, Rob.

  • The main process involved in producing alcohol is fermentation,

  • which is the process in which yeast or bacteria changes sugar into alcohol.

  • Hydration is the process of making your body absorb water.

  • And purification is the act of removing some harmful things from something.

  • Actually, have this glass of water, Rob.

  • Hydration is a good hangover cure ... much better than hair of the dog.

  • Rob: Cheers, Alice!

  • Alice: Now let's hear the words we learned today.

  • Rob: They are:

  • hangover

  • cure

  • teetotal

  • hair of the dog

  • boozy

  • downside

  • tipple

  • don't knock it until you've tried it

  • skeptical

  • fermentation

  • Alice: Well, that's the end of today's 6 Minute English.

  • Keep hydrated and don't forget to join us again soon.

  • Both: Bye.

Alice: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Alice.

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B2 UK rob alice alcohol drinking hydration hangover

BBC 6 Minute English May 05, 2016 - How bad is booze?

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    Adam Huang posted on 2016/05/09
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