Recent studies show that moderate use of alcohol may have a beneficial effect on the coronary system. In general, for healthy people, one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men would be considered the maximum amount of alcohol consumption to be considered moderate use. (By healthy people, I am referring to non-pregnant women, individuals not addicted to alcohol, and people without pre-existing medical conditions, among others). However, the amount of alcohol that a person can drink safely is highly individual, depending on genetics, age, sex, weight and family history, etc. A drink is considered to be:
- 4-5 ounces of wine
- 10 ounces of wine cooler
- 12 ounces of beer
- 1-1/4 ounces of distilled liquor (80 proof whiskey, vodka, scotch, or rum)
Drinking too much on a single occasion or over time, can take a serious toll on your health. Here are some ways that alcohol can negatively affect your body:
Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can change mood and behavior, and make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including:
Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle
Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat
High blood pressure
However, research also shows that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may protect healthy adults from developing coronary heart disease.
Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver, and can lead to a variety of problems and liver inflammations including:
- Steatosis, or fatty liver
- Alcoholic hepatitis
Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, including cancers of the:
Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease. Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink too much. Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections, even up to 24 hours after getting drunk.
More Effects Of Alcohol On The Body