Alcohol as discussed in the earlier blog, has its own advantages and disadvantages. It cannot be put in the black and white category and is generally considered in the grey area, where many official stats and reports recommend it as well as many dissuade its use.
Health risks of alcohol consumption outweigh its benefits. Let’s learn about its advantages and disadvantages as well as its recommended allowance.
- Alcohol when consumed in moderation is said to lead to a longer life and also improves overall health.
- Many types of alcohol contain antioxidants which help in fighting diseases.
- Alcohol when taken in moderate quantities improves the blood flow to the brain and raises good cholesterol.
- It also helps in giving smooth passage to gallstones and helps in easy exit from the body.
- It may also possibly reduce risk of diabetes, heart diseases and ischemic stroke.
Alcohol consumption in moderate amounts may have above few health benefits but you can still opt for healthier options like healthy eating, life style modification and exercise to acquire all above benefits. Also it is important to note that benefits of alcohol consumption are very less and may not apply to all individuals!
How much does moderate mean?
Normally 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men is considered safe and within limits as per researches. The definition of 1 drink differs for each type of alcohol. 12 ounce of beer, 1 ½ ounce of spirit and 5 ounce of wine is typically considered one drink.
Effect of alcohol consumption on health is seen based upon how its metabolized. Alcohol cannot be stored in body and all other nutrients can be! Due to which, when you consume alcohol body makes alcohol as a priority to be metabolized. In no time, 20% of alcohol is absorbed from your stomach and reaches to brain through blood acting as a stimulant. Rest all alcohol is absorbed through intestine and a small amount of alcohol which stays into your circulation until it is metabolized is given out through breath, sweat and saliva. Alcohol requires detoxification and this is done in liver. Liver is the main organ responsible for metabolizing alcohol. Alcohol when consumed in excess to its prescribed safe limit can be very dangerous for us.
- An inebriated state keeps us at physical harm, leading to temporary amnesia, unsteady on the feet leading to falls and serious injuries.
- Drunk driving is one of the most common causes of death, for the driver as well as the co-passengers and pedestrians.
- Cancer, cardiovascular diseases, dementia, seizures, high blood pressure, and depression is also seen.
- Alcoholic liver cirrhosis is very commonly seen in chronic alcoholics affecting normal metabolisation of all nutrients leading to sever malnutrition, jaundice, affected liver function leading to death.
- If you have diabetes, make sure you have a word with your diabetologist about how alcohol will affect your medications.
How to Balance Its Risks with Safe and Recommended Intake of Alcohol
Every individual and their body react differently to the intake of alcohol. Age, health, gender are all determining factors as well. If taken for medicinal use, it may add to your health. If a person doesn’t normally consume alcohol, there is no need for them to start. In a healthy person, moderate intake might not negatively affect them, but gradually it starts showing on health. Few alcohol varieties like Red wine, Brandy etc when taken in recommended moderations help to keep us healthy and protected from external factors.
At the end, Drinking or not, is an individual factor per se. it cannot be restricted or imposed.