The question of alcohol safety and even its usefulness will always be interesting to people consuming it. Much is spoken about the harmful effects of alcohol but little is known about its positive effects on the human health. If you are among those who are interested, read on to learn about all the positive and negative sides of drinking alcohol.
Effect of alcohol on the cardiovascular system
Little and moderate alcohol drinking is known to produce a positive effect on heart and the vascular system (perhaps everyone knows about a glass of red wine, which is good for your heart). However, we know about its usefulness only in general. In particular, alcohol-containing beverages taken in moderate amounts may:
- Increase the levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (the “good” one);
- Relax the blood vessels thus causing a decrease in blood pressure;
- Prevent blood clotting.
On the contrary, excessive alcohol consumption or binge drinking may elevate the risks for heart disease and increase the blood pressure. It may result in stroke or a heart attack.
Effects on the nervous system
Alcohol may be called the most popular means of stress relief. Moderate amounts of strong alcohol, wine or beer may improve your mood, help you relax and feel better. Furthermore, drinking a glass or two from time to time diminishes the probability of evolving dementia at an old age.
However, negative effects of alcohol on the nervous system prevail. Those, who consume alcohol uncontrollably are likely to experience:
- Chronic headache;
- Brain shrinkage, which develops with age;
- Slurred speech;
- Difficulties with keeping a balance;
- Blackouts (amnesia caused by excess of alcohol).
The effects on the nervous system vary from person to person. Some may feel overexcited, or aggressive and some people get melancholic, and depressed. Furthermore, the reaction of a drunk person is much slower than of the sober one. Hence, the probability of accidents significantly grows.
Effects on the body mass
The number of calories in alcoholic drinks is huge. However, not all kinds of alcohol may add you a couple of pounds. For example, beer may help you grow a “beer belly” whereas red wine may promote some weight loss.
Regular heavy drinking may result in weight gain. On the other hand, an occasional couple of drinks may help you lose several pounds. On the whole, the effect of alcohol on people’s weight differs.
Effects on the blood glucose
Drinking in moderation may do good to the levels of blood sugar in people having diabetes type 2 and those who are at the stage of prediabetes. The consumption of moderate amounts of alcohol helps to diminish the individual’s resistance to insulin, which is the core of type 2 diabetes. The research shows that the blood glucose may be reduced by 16%-37% in case you drink moderately.
Binge drinkers and the drunkards, however, are more inclined to evolving diabetes.
Effects on the gastrointestinal tract
Unfortunately, alcohol consumption gives no advantages when we get to the gastrointestinal tract. It irritates or, so to say, burns the mucous membranes of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and even intestines. You may be astonished by the number of negative effects it produces:
- Durable diarrhea;
- Painful defecation;
- Feeling of fullness in the stomach.
Besides, heavy alcohol consumption prevents the absorption of vitamins, minerals, and other nutritious substances from the gastric tract into the blood flow. It may lead to severe lack of nutrients and worsening of your health state in general. In addition, heavy drinkers are inclined to developing hemorrhoids and stomach ulcers. Hence, their probability of bleeding is very high.
Colon, liver, esophagus, and throat cancer are not all types of the ailment one can get because of an excess of alcohol.