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The truth about alcohol.

  • Briggs, David
  • Videos

About this work


Following new national guidelines recommending we lower our average weekly intake of alcohol, Dr Javid Abdelmoneim explores the effect alcohol has on the human body. Clips of contemporary news bulletins concerning these new guidelines are shown at the start. To begin, home diary footage is shown of Abdelmoneim listing every alcoholic beverage he has consumed that week. He compares with Matthew Mitchell how many units of alcohol he thought he had drank with the actual number. Abdelmoneim then visits liver specialist, Dr Gautam Mehta, who assesses the health of his liver using an ultrasound. After this, Abdelmoneim and Dr Antony Moss conduct a series of experiments looking into the effect alcohol has on the brain. They conduct a Batak test, to observe participants’ ability to multitask, and compare pain tolerance levels of participants when sober and intoxicated. Next, sports scientist Dr Paul Hough and alcohol researcher Professor Celia Morgan conduct a series of tests to find out why some people become intoxicated quicker than others. Abdelmoneim measures the calories in different types of popular alcohol. Experimental psychologist Dr Sam Caton then conducts an experiment to see whether drinking alcohol affects hunger levels. Abdelmoneim and a friend take part in an experiment to find out whether the popular belief that eating before drinking alcohol helps you to become less intoxicated. The experiment involves a pill cam and regular breathalyser tests. Next, Abdelmoneim and Researcher Dr Wendy Hall look at the French Paradox, and the popular notion that red wine is good for us. They test polyphenol levels in different types of red and white wine using a spectrophotometer. Professor Derk-Jan Dijk looks at the effect alcohol has on Abdelmoneim’s sleep pattern at the University of Surrey Sleep Research Centre. Abdelmoneim and Dr Richard Stephens then conduct a test comparing the effectiveness of popular hangover cures. Brewer Alex Arkell explains the fermentation process. Chemist Jon Griffin and Abdelmoneim compare the congener-count of the nation’s most popular alcoholic beverages. To conclude, Abdelmoneim and Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies discuss the effect of alcohol on health, in particular its association with the development of different types of cancer.



Physical description

1 DVD (60 min.) : sound, colour ; 12 cm


Originally broadcast on 26th May 2016 on BBC 1.

Creator/production credits

Produced and directed by David Briggs.
Presented by Dr Javid Abdelmoneim.

Copyright note

Sundog Pictures Production for BBC.



  • English

Where to find it

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