Health Effects of Alcohol Consumption

Long-term effects-If you are regularly having a high amount of alcohol intake it may increase the risk of liver diseases and cancer. Regularly having more than two drinks a day may increase the risk of developing alcoholism, alcoholic liver disease, and some forms of cancer. Having between one to two alcoholic drinks a day has been shown to have positive effects on health, unless contraindicated, chiefly because of its cardiovascular effects.

What alcohol does to your liver?

Short-term effects- Alcohol supplies some effects on body that shows in very short period of time. Alcohol, specifically ethanol, is a potent central nervous system depressant with a range of side effects. The amount and circumstances of consumption play a large part in determining the extent of intoxication and for example, if you consume alcohol after a heavy meal is less likely to produce visible signs of intoxication than consumption on an empty stomach. Hydration also plays a role, especially in determining the extent of hangovers

How alcohol travels- Alcohol is metabolized extremely quickly by the body. Unlike foods, which require time for digestion, alcohol needs no digestion and is quickly absorbed. About 20 percent is absorbed directly across the walls of an empty stomach and can reach the brain within one minute. Once alcohol reaches the stomach, it begins to break down with the alcohol dehydrogenate enzyme. This process reduces the amount of alcohol entering the blood by approximately 20%. In addition, about 10% of the alcohol is expelled in the breath and urine.

Alcohol and pregnancy-Women that drink heavily during pregnancy are at risk of having babies with a condition called fetal alcohol syndrome. This can result in growth deficiencies, nervous system problems, lowered intelligence, and facial abnormalities in the child. It is also called fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and all the symptoms are not always present and can vary in how serious they are.

Health affects of alcohol consumption-Taking alcohol in a regular manner affects very badly on health. Several recent studies have examined the health effects of alcohol and for many people, moderate consumption appears beneficial. The largest study to date to look at the relationship between alcohol consumption and mortality found that those who drank one drink a day had a 20% lower death rate from all causes compared to nondrinkers. For deaths due just too cardiovascular diseases, the death rates were 30-40% lower for those reporting at least one drink daily compared to nondrinkers.