THE MYTH OF MODERATE DRINKING

People are healthy in spite of alcohol, not because of it.  Studies that indicate moderate drinking reduces certain risks of heart attack, cardiovascular disease, etc., are flawed.  The fact is that people who drink in moderation do other things in moderation.  They eat in moderation, exercise, used reasoned judgment, act prudently, go to doctors more often, have higher incomes, greater disposable income, consume less processed foods, etc.  There is no way to factor out the alcohol component independently of other considerations.  Yet recent studies draw positive conclusions in spite of those factors.

Alcohol is a poison.  Alcohol turns to Acetaldehyde in the body.  Acetaldehyde is the primary ingredient in embalming fluid.  Acetaldehyde causes cells to bond abnormally allowing the skin to wrinkle, damages the DNA resulting in further abnormal cell function, and potentially leads to cancer.

The negative effects of alcohol may be seen in a person drinking only two drinks per day.  Yes, it takes years for the consequences of excessive drinking to become dominant, but alcohol may shorten life span by ten to fifteen years or more, to say nothing about the reduction in quality of life when other productive activities are reduced.

A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute showed that when pre-menopausal women drank about one ounce of pure alcohol daily (the amount in two average drinks), they had higher levels of estrogen in their blood and urine than when they did not drink.  The women were on the same diet throughout the study.  This finding suggested an explanation (increased production of estrogen) for the possible link between alcohol and breast cancer.  Another highly publicized study, conducted in Spain of 762 women with breast cancer, showed that even moderate alcohol intake was associated with a 50% increase in risk for breast cancer–a figure hard for women to ignore.

Even in small amounts, alcohol will destroy folic acid, B6, and B12.  That makes the body more susceptible to homocysteine, which is a greater predictor of heart disease than cholesterol levels.  Further, people who drink have been shown to have 40% worse learning ability than those who abstain.  The reason: alcohol suppresses the REM cycle of sleep and you need REM sleep to integrate what you learn during the day.

Drinking can damage the tissues in your digestive tract and prevent the intestines from digesting food and absorbing nutrients and vitamins. As a result, malnutrition may occur.

People who drink frequently are more likely to develop cancer in the mouth, throat, esophagus, colon, or liver. People who regularly drink and use tobacco together have an even greater risk.

Drinking makes it difficult to absorb vitamins and minerals from food and can cause anemia.  This is a condition where you have a low red blood cell count.  One of the biggest symptoms of anemia is fatigue.

Everyone knows about the beer gut.  This is how you get one.  Alcohol contains about 20 calories per teaspoon.  A pint of 86-proof alcohol supplies half the normal adult caloric requirements for a day.  But remember, alcohol is devoid of nutrients.  Are people going to eat the same amount of food when they drink?  Often, yet, especially in social settings.  And if they drink alone, the opposite can happen and they skip meals, filling up on drink. This is the empty calorie concept.  One way or another, you are getting too many worthless calories.  The same thing occurs when we eat potato chips or other

snack food.  There are a huge number of calories in those foods, but because they weigh so little, we still need to consume enough to make up the daily needed weight of food.  Extra alcohol calories are converted to fat, resulting in higher cholesterol levels and obesity.

Drinking alcohol can cause abnormal activation of digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas. Buildup of these enzymes can lead to inflammation known as pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can become a long-term condition and cause serious complications.

Alcohol can reduce communication between your brain and your body. This makes coordination more difficult.  Even moderate drinkers have a hard time balancing.

Drinking also makes it difficult for the brain to create long-term memories. It also reduces the ability to think clearly and make rational choices. Over time, frontal lobe damage can occur.  This area of the brain is responsible for emotional control, short-term memory, and judgment, in addition to other vital roles.  Drinking can damage the tissues in the digestive tract and prevent the intestines from digesting food and absorbing nutrients and vitamins. As a result, malnutrition may occur.

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