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Alcohol and Health

Throughout the years we have heard mixed reviews about alcohol. Some say moderate amounts have health benefits while others say its addictive and highly toxic. SO, what is right? An article by Healthline.com reviews the good and bad of alcohol.

Alcohol and your liver:

One of the liver’s main roles is to “neutralize various toxic substances you consume. For this reason, your liver is particularly vulnerable to damage by alcohol intake” states the article.

One condition our doctors treat is fatty liver, characterized by increase fat inside the liver cells caused by alcohol. This condition, if not treated, gradually develops in 90% of those who heavily drink and can lead to serious health problems including cirrhosis of the liver.

Alcohol and your Brain:

Reduced communication between brain cells and memory loss are temporary effects of alcohol on the brain. More permanent could be impaired brain function dementia and brain shrinkage.

Depression:

“Many people facing anxiety and depression drink intentionally to reduce stress and improve mood. While drinking may provide a few hours of relief, it will worsen your overall mental health and spark a vicious cycle” states the article.

Body Weight:

Drinking beer heavily is linked to increase weight gain because of the calorie rich content. The article goes on to state “Beer has a similar number of calories as sugary soft drinks, ounce for ounce, whereas red wine has twice as much.”

Heart Health

Light to moderate drinking is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, while heavy drinking appears to increase the risk.

Type 2 Diabetes:

Moderate alcohol consumption may reduce symptoms of type 2 diabetes by enhancing the uptake of blood sugar by your cells.

Cancer:

Drinking can increase the risk for certain cancers such as mouth, throat, colon, breast and liver.

Birth Defects:

Drinking during pregnancy can cause birth defects such as low growth, intelligence and behavior.

 

 

 

To read the entire article, please click here.

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