July 6, 2022

Drinking Alcohol: The Health Pros & Cons

Alcohol is today the second-most deadly drug in America, behind tobacco. It is also the most illegal drug. While alcohol is well-known for breaking down social barriers, it can also have severe consequences for the body and mind.

Pro#1 – Drinking alcohol protects your heart

Source 2. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol can be used in moderation to reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Moderate drinking is defined as consuming less than three standard drinks per week. A standard drink equals approximately 12 oz beer, 5 oz wine, and 1.5 oz distilled spirits. Each of these drinks contains approximately 0.5% alcohol.

Pro#2 – Drinking alcohol reduces other risks

American Diabetes Association’s study found that men who only drink alcohol occasionally have a 25% lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes (Source 3). Researchers found evidence that moderate alcohol intake was associated with higher average blood glucose.

Pro#3 – drinking alcohol helps to prevent the common cold

Although smokers are more likely to catch a common cold than non-smokers, moderate drinkers who don’t smoke have a lower incidence of common cold symptoms (Source 4). Researchers discovered that drinking 8-14 glasses per week of red wine could reduce the chance of getting a cold by up to 60%.

Pro#4 – Drinking alcohol can lower your risk of developing gallstones

Researchers at the University of East Anglia found that drinking one unit of alcohol per week reduces gallstones risk by 1/3. The investigators analyzed the diets of 25,639 people and followed them over 10 years. Only 267 cases developed gallstones during this time (Source 5).

Con#1 – drinking alcohol in excess with alcohol

It’s now time to confront some of the ugly facts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 39 million Americans drink excessively. However, only one in six of these people have ever discussed their drinking issues with any healthcare professional (Source 6). It is easy to become addicted to alcohol, with a drink costing between two and five dollars.

Con#2: consuming heavy alcohol drinking deteriorates skin

Your skin is your largest organ. Alcohol dehydrates it. Too much alcohol can dehydrate your skin, the largest organ in your body. Heavy drinking can cause permanent damage to your skin, such as deep wrinkles or facial disfigurement.

Con#3 – Alcohol has a lot of calories

Drinking alcohol has a lot of empty calories and no nutritional value. A 12 oz standard beer can contain 160 calories, while a glass of white wine can contain 300 calories. It is possible to become obese if you consume more than one alcoholic drink per week. The alcohol’s calories do not satisfy hunger. They stimulate hunger so that the person eats more than usual, on top of the calories in the drink.

Con #4 – It increases crime rates

We all know that alcohol can affect our judgment. People who drink excessively are most likely to have embarrassing and illogical moments. Drinking can also lead to crime. Driving while impaired by alcohol is one of the most serious crimes. The United States saw nearly 29% of traffic-related deaths in 2015 due to impaired driving. This was almost 10265 deaths. There are many other crimes that alcohol abuse can lead to, including robbery and sexual assault.

Conclusion

All studies have shown that moderation is the key to legalizing alcohol. You can enjoy the benefits of alcoholism if you’re a responsible drinker.

Consider seeking treatment at a rehab center if you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol addiction. Every person and family member who walks through their doors is transformed by the doctors there. Teens and adults can find hope after overcoming the trauma of substance abuse.