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How Kisses and Wine Can Trip Us Up

By Sandy Schroeder

You may not want to give up kisses or glasses of wine, but Scientific American thought we all should know some of the risks involved.

First, There’s a Risk in Drinking and Dosing

Most of us scan the print that comes with a prescription, but we might overlook the alcohol/medicine interaction warnings. Some 75 percent of Americans drink alcohol, making them targets for prescription interactions if they miss the warnings.

Researchers say about 40 percent of American drinkers run into some kind of alcohol/drug prescription question. For elderly drinkers that figure jumps to almost 78 percent.

This often turns up in prescriptions for depression, diabetes or blood pressure. 

If you find yourself dealing with new prescriptions, be sure to pin down the alcohol interaction questions with your physician. Read the print in the package, ask your pharmacist and call your physician if you have any doubts. It turns out drinking and dosing may be just as much of a hazard as drinking and driving.

Millions of Bacteria Trade Places In a Kiss

No matter how pleasing a kiss, Scientific American felt we should know one 10-second kiss can swap tens of millions of bacteria from one person to another. The Journal Microbiome reported the study that indicated there are more than 700 different bacteria living in the mouth.

When probiotic yogurts were used to explore transfers, it was shown some 80 million bacteria from the drink moved from the drinker’s mouth to the other person’s mouth.

More research will be needed to explain why some bacteria moves more than others, and what the health implications may be. The research did say that the bacteria in saliva was more mobile than the bacteria living on the tongue.

Kissing and Wine Cautions

Overall, it might be wise to know who we are kissing. But future research will have to tell us more about the possible risks.

As for wine and prescription meds, the direction is clearer. If you are headed home with a new prescription, and about to have a glass of wine before dinner, take the time to read the fine print and find out what the risks are. Or if you have already downed a glass and just remembered you have taken prescription meds, watch for symptoms and call your physician or check in with ER if you start to have a reaction.

As always, promptly check out all new symptoms with your physician.


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