How Does Alcohol Affect The Body?

Some evidence shows that moderate alcohol consumption, typically defined as a daily glass of alcoholic beverage, may be associated with significant health benefits. The result of several large scale studies indicates that moderate alcohol consumption can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Some of the health-protective effects of alcohol, in particular, those conferred by drinking red wine, appear to stem from compounds phenolic antioxidants, so named because of these substances slow the damaging cell oxidation process. These compounds are found in high concentration in grape skins, seeds and stems which seem to exert their protective effects by reducing bad cholesterol, inhibiting blood clotting and producing a more favorable good to bad cholesterol ratio. Some evidence indicates that moderate alcohol consumers may even live longer than nondrinkers.

Negative impacts of Alcohol Consumption  

On the other hand, too much alcohol is harmful and can have a damaging effect on our health. Chronic excessive alcohol consumption can lead to deficits in many different cognitive abilities, including learning and memory, perceptual-motor skills, visual-spatial processing, and problem-solving. Newer research also suggests that the effects of chronic alcohol exposure may be more diffuse, perhaps leading to an overall reduction in the efficiency of our cognitive functions. Our manifestation of this general decline is an inability to tune out irrelevant information to focus on the critical aspects of a task.

It has been estimated that the number of alcohol users in India is more than 70 million. Out of this 20 percent are dependent users and 25-30 percent of hospital admissions are due to alcohol-related problems.

The negative effects excessive drinking also extend to other aspects of our health. Excessive drinking can lead to stomach disease, cirrhosis of the liver, cancer, impaired sexual functioning, cognitive impairment and fetal alcohol syndrome, a condition of retardation and physical abnormalities that occurs in children of mothers who are heavy drinkers. Heavy drinking has also been implicated as a risk factor for suicide and suicide attempts. It also appears to promote the transmission of the virus that causes AIDS, both by interfering with aspects of the immune system and by increasing the likelihood that people will engage in unprotected sex.

Why do people continue to drink even though it has a lot of negative effects?  

Studies with human highlights the role of genetic factors in drinking. Some of the most direct evidence comes from adoption studies investigating rates of alcoholism among adopted children raised apart from their biological parents. Such studies show that biological sons of male alcoholic raised in the adoptive home have a higher rate of alcoholism than biological sons of nonalcoholic people who grow up under similar circumstances. However, genetic factors are not the only determinants of excessive drinking. Research has shown that children reared in an adoptive family containing an alcoholic member are at significant risk of becoming alcoholics themselves. These studies provide evidence that environmental factors also play a significant role in drinking.

Conclusion  

Alcohol can have very severe effects on the several systems of the human body. The short-term impacts on the brain and other parts of the body can be very severe, particularly as more alcohol is consumed in a short amount of time. Long-term effects can be even more terrible and lead to several diseases and life-altering situations.

To change the impacts of alcohol on the body, a person should decrease the amount they drink or refrain from drinking altogether. For many people with alcohol use disorder, and for anyone with vital physiological alcohol addiction, expert treatment is required to stop drinking safely.

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