WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION

Answer: NONEAbsolutely NONE, - other than to reflect on life in another unrealistic, delusional dimension.)

Alcohol excites the imagination and we can all believe we can achieve anything whilst under its’ influence.

Disregard all the fraudulent statements that a glass of wine per day is good for your health, your blood circulation – nonsense / lies.

The recommendations of the wine industry has a vested interest.  There is no INDEPENDENT verifiable evidence for claims that a glass of wine per day has health benefits - quite the contrary.

 

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES - wine, spirits, beer.

Limited evidence from epidemiological studies suggests that moderate alcohol intake is associated with sclerosis of the liver, increased risk of diabetes, over-burdening of the pancreas and kidneys and loss of collagen which will eventually quicken the aging process.  Even moderate alcohol consumption may increase the risk of breast cancer, alcohol-related birth defects, and progression to heavy alcohol consumption in some people.

Heavy alcohol consumption is associated with increased risks of hypertension, hemorrhagic stroke, heart rhythm disturbances, damage to the heart, liver, and pancreas, dementia, accidents, injury, and violence.  Heavy alcohol consumption is associated with increased risk of certain cancers, including oral, esophageal, liver, breast, and colorectal cancers. The combined use of alcohol and tobacco greatly increases the risk of oral and esophageal cancers.

WHO SHOULD CERTAINLY NOT CONSUME ALCOHOL.

1.  Pregnant women and women who may become pregnant - NEVER consume alcohol, not even one glass.

2.  Anyone who has trouble limiting his or her alcohol consumption to moderate levels, particularly recovering alcoholics and those with a family history of alcoholism. 

3.  Anyone with chronic liver disease or alcohol-related disease or organ damage;

4.  Anyone planning to drive, operate heavy machinery, or perform other potentially hazardous activities requiring coordination and skill;

5.  People who would benefit from individualized advice regarding potential risks and benefits of moderate alcohol consumption include:

6.  Anyone taking medications (over-the-counter or prescription) with the potential for adverse interactions with alcohol and anyone with a personal history or strong family history (e.g., in a parent or sibling) of breast cancer

HEALTH RISKS OF HEAVY ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION: (2 or more glasses of alcohol per day, wine or beer.

Cardiovascular disease

HYPERTENSION

Heavy alcohol consumption has been consistently associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) in prospective and case-control studies. The results of numerous clinical trials also indicate that reducing alcohol intake lowers blood pressure in hypertensive and normotensive individuals. A meta-analysis that combined the results of 15 randomized controlled trials found that reducing alcohol consumption resulted in significant decreases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

STROKE

Ischemic strokes are the result of insufficient blood flow to an area of the brain, which may occur when an artery supplying the brain becomes blocked by a blood clot. Hemorrhagic strokes occur when a blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the brain. Although moderate alcohol consumption has been associated with decreased risk of ischemic stroke, heavy alcohol consumption has been associated with increased risk of ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. A meta-analysis that combined the results of 19 prospective cohort studies and 16 case-control studies found that heavy drinking more than doubled the risk of hemorrhagic stroke and increased the risk of ischemic stroke by 70%. Heavy alcohol consumption may increase the risk of stroke by contributing to hypertension, cardiomyopathy (heart muscle damage), cardiac rhythm disturbances, and coagulation (clotting) disorders.

CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIAS AND SUDDEN CARDIAC DEATH

The long-recognized association between bouts of heavy alcohol consumption and cardiac rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias) was called “holiday heart syndrome” because it was first described in people who were admitted to hospitals after holidays or weekends. Atrial fibrillation is the cardiac arrhythmia most commonly associated with heavy alcohol use. Several studies have found heavy alcohol consumption (more than five drinks/day) to be associated with significant increases in the risk of sudden cardiac death.

ALCOHOLIC CARDIOMYOPATHY

Alcoholic cardiomyopathy is a heart muscle disease caused by long-term heavy alcohol consumption. The disease occurs in two stages: an early asymptomatic stage, when the damage to the heart muscle has no obvious symptoms, and a symptomatic stage, when the heart muscle is too weak to pump effectively. Although the level of alcohol consumption resulting in alcoholic cardiomyopathy has not been clearly established, people consuming at least seven alcoholic drinks/day for more than five years are thought to be at risk of developing asymptomatic alcoholic cardiomyopathy. Those who continue to drink heavily ultimately develop heart failure. Recent research suggests that women may be more susceptible to alcohol’s toxic effects on the heart muscle than men.

LIVER DISEASE

Chronic excessive alcohol use is the single most important cause of illness and death from liver disease in the United States. Heavy alcohol consumption is known to increase the risk of alcoholic hepatitis, a potentially fatal inflammation of the liver, and alcoholic cirrhosis, the most advanced form of alcoholic liver disease. In cirrhosis, the formation of fibrotic scar tissue results in progressive deterioration of liver function.

Complications of advanced liver disease include severe bleeding from distended veins in the esophagus (esophageal varices), brain damage (hepatic encephalopathy), fluid accumulation in the abdomen (ascites), and kidney failure. A population-based study in Italy found that the risk of alcoholic liver disease began to rise in those who reported consuming more than 30 grams/day of alcohol (about 2.5 drinks/day). Serious liver disease has been found to develop in approximately 10% of those who consume more than 60 grams/day of alcohol (5 drinks/day). However, women are more susceptible to serious alcoholic liver disease than men, as are individuals with hepatitis C infection.

CANCERS

Heavy alcohol consumption has been found to increase the risk of cancer at a number of sites. Heavy alcohol consumption is consistently and dose-dependently associated with increases in risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, larynx, and esophagus. Moreover, the combination of smoking and alcohol results in even more dramatic increases in cancer risks. Long-term heavy alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of liver cancer, which may be related to alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver or increased susceptibility to cancer caused by viral hepatitis. Although less consistent, there is evidence that the risk of colorectal cancer is increased with heavy alcohol consumption, especially in the presence of inadequate folate intake.

ALCOHOL-RELATED BRAIN DISORDERS

Chronic heavy alcohol use and alcohol-dependence are associated with detrimental effects on the brain and its function. Alcoholics have been observed to suffer from cerebral atrophy (shrinkage of brain tissue), which likely contributes to alcohol-associated dementia and cognitive impairment. In contrast to the progressive cerebral atrophy observed in Alzheimer’s disease, alcohol-related cerebral atrophy may decrease after a period of abstinence. Alcohol-related brain disorders may have multiple causes, including nutritional deficiencies like thiamin deficiency and alcoholic liver disease.

PANCREATITIS

Pancreatitis is a painful inflammation of the pancreas. Acute pancreatitis is characterized by the sudden onset of severe upper abdominal pain, often accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Although most attacks of acute pancreatitis require only supportive care, a small percentage of people may experience serious or life-threatening complications. About 30% of acute pancreatitis cases in the U.S. are alcohol-induced.

Chronic pancreatitis results in progressive destruction of the pancreas leading to loss of pancreatic function. Approximately 70-90% of chronic pancreatitis cases in the U.S. and other developed countries are alcohol induced. The risk of developing chronic pancreatitis increases with the quantity and duration of alcohol consumption, although it is uncommon at alcohol intakes less than 80 g/day (seven drinks/day) for more than five years. Since less than 10% of alcoholics develop chronic pancreatitis, hereditary and environmental factors are also thought to play a role.

ACCIDENTS, INJURY, AND VIOLENCE

Alcohol use is associated with an increased risk of injury in a number of circumstances, including motor vehicle accidents, falls, and fires. Data from hospital emergency departments indicate that consuming as little as one or two alcoholic drinks in the previous six hours significantly increases the risk of injury. Forty percent of all traffic fatalities in the U.S. are alcohol-related. Although the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for drivers ranges from 0.08-0.10 in the U.S., most scientific studies found significant impairment of driving-related skills at a BAC of 0.05. For reference, a BAC of 0.05 might be achieved by a 175-pound male consuming 3 standard alcoholic drinks in one hour or a 120-pound female consuming 2 drinks in one hour . Alcohol use is associated with all forms of violence, including suicide, homicide, domestic violence, sexual assault, and gang violence. Although the reasons for alcohol-associated violence are complex, alcohol use appears to increase the risk of violent behavior in some populations.

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