We’re just from the season when most people – if not all – attended parties, reunions and other forms of gatherings and celebrations. Alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer or distilled spirits were definitely part of the ‘guest list.’ Well, it’s fine as long as you ingest these alcoholic drinks in moderation. And once it is abused or taken excessively, expect something that you’d regret over time – either the hangover, significant health effects or something you wouldn’t say or do when sober.
As they say, alcohol is both a tonic and poison. What sets them apart, you ask? The difference technically lies in the dose – the amount of alcohol consumed. Alcohol, in general, is not entirely harmful. It also has a handful of health benefits that have been proven and recognized by science. With that in mind, we thought of emphasizing the following risks and benefits of alcohol to one’s health:
“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”
~ Ernest Hemingway
Possible Risks if Abused or Taken Excessively:
Worst Case Scenario: Causal Factor in over 200 Diseases and Alcohol-Related Injuries
According to a recent health advisory published by a popular online medical bulletin, Professor Paul Elliott said that excessive alcohol drinking is a major global public health problem.
Health practitioners, medical experts, the government and other private institutions should join hands to find new ways of reducing the harmful effects of alcohol not just to the drinkers themselves but also to the people around them. The infographic as shown here itemizes the dangers of alcohol if, again, abused or ingested irresponsibly.
A report from the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2012 stated that about 3.3 million deaths or 5.9 percent of all deaths worldwide were attributable to alcohol consumption. Alcohol is also scientifically deemed as a causal factor in over 200 diseases and injury conditions. Some of these are unintentional and intentional damages, ranging from road accidents, violence, and attempted suicides, not to mention some fatal alcohol-related injuries being more common among younger people.
Alcoholism or Alcohol Dependence Syndrome
This is considered a risk as frequent and excessive drinking can lead to alcohol addiction. To recover from physical and psychological effects of alcoholism, one requires professional and medical help. People who suffer from the condition feel a strong “driving force” to drink fermented beverages.
They also experience loss of control where the patient finds it hard to stop drinking once they have already started. Physical or mental dependence and tolerance or the need to drink more alcohol to feel the same effect are some the consequences of alcohol use disorder.
Surprising Health Benefits of Moderate Consumption of Alcohol
It’s more than just a downer! When taken in moderation, alcohol can offer some significant benefits to one’s health. As a matter of fact, some clinical studies have shown that moderate consumption of alcohol has a handful of useful health benefits. And here are some of them:
Beer has vitamins.
Many people from all over the world drink beer. Known for its high calories, this “liquid carb” is loaded with B vitamins riboflavin and thiamin, not to mention its high levels of magnesium and calcium. Remember this tip: The darker the beer you drink, the better benefits you reap, thanks to its high iron content. Iron helps in oxygen circulation in the body.
Alcohol can protect your brain.
In 2015, the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reported that xanthohumol, a compound found in beer, could protect brain cells from damage. As such, beer slows down the progression of Parkinson’s Disease.
In a separate study, alcohol is said to protect the brain from the ravages of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The findings state that a there is a decrease of more than 30 percent for light-to-moderate alcohol consumers, roughly one to three drinks a day.
Alcohol may boost better thinking and memory.
Researchers also found out that alcohol may have direct a benefit on thinking and memory. This is because alcohol stimulates the release of a brain chemical called acetylcholine. This substance is known to be involved in memory and learning. However, findings also showed that drinking large amounts of alcohol can decrease the said chemical production.