Too much is too much: dependency and excess
The harmful effects of abusive drinking on the human body occur under two different circumstances. Where there is alcohol dependency, the effects are chronic and result from heavy, regular drinking. Where there is excess, the effects are acute and result from individual occasions of immoderate drinking; the risk is proportionate to the amount of alcohol in the blood.
People who have an alcohol dependency are certainly endangering their health. Among other things, they risk developing cirrhosis of the liver, a very serious disease. What is less well known is that even occasional excessive drinking can damage almost every organ in the body.
It takes the right information to make the right decision
Alcohol may produce pleasurable effects, but it also causes problems. When we choose to drink, we must remain aware and attentive. Physically speaking, is drinking good for us or bad for us?
- Alcohol is an irritant for the entire digestive tract, including the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach and intestines. Alcohol also affects the valves that control the passage of food from the mouth to the intestines.
- Alcohol is a food and the liver is responsible for digesting it. The liver is a little factory capable of breaking down approximately 15 grams of pure alcohol an hour. That’s about:
- one 340-ml/12-oz bottle of beer (5% alcohol)
- one 140-ml/5-oz glass of wine (12% alcohol)
- one 45-ml/1.5-oz shot of spirits (40% alcohol)
- Alcohol affects the heart and blood vessels, even though it has a certain protective effect in the arteries and promotes the production of “good” cholesterol. Alcoholics may have diseased hearts, but their arteries will be fat free.
- Alcohol affects the brain and the nervous system, in particular the nerves in the legs. Alcohol is a neurotoxin that affects, among other things, memory, balance and the ability to anticipate things.