AND HEALTH, HAPPINESS, AND RELATIONSHIPS
Misinterpreting studies (see the errors in the discussion below) and not comparing so-called "low consumption" benefits to alternatives have people making incorrect conclusions. Which they then defend as "the truth", to protect the habit. It is an area of huge denial, where one will diminish the negative impact and make it "ok", in classical rationalization. (Read The Believing Brain.)
It is a legal drug. I repeat, it is a drug.
See the potential benefits discussion at the end of this piece.
DIRECT HARM TO THE BODY
Alcohol is a significant damager of health, happiness, and relationships (though we'll discuss a possible benefit). .
It "inTOXICates". It acts as an anesthetic, deadening the brain, providing an illusion of relaxation. You get various levels of coordination problems (ie. lose control of muscl function), blurred vision, and socialization problems.
Alcohol dehydrates, blocks the neurotransmitter GABA (calms), is a central nervous system depressant, is mind altering, is addictive, is toxic to he heart muscle,.contributes to some cancers, provides empty calories pushing out high nutrient calories, lowers melatonin thereby harming sleep...
Even social drinkers die earlier than non-drinkers.
Drinking more than 3 ounces of alcohol a day prevents the stomach and pancreas from absorbing calcium and vitamin D. Alcohol suppresses estrogen, which slows the body's bone regeneration and can cause osteoporosis. Alcohol also increases the body's levels of the stress hormone cortisol and parathyroid hormone, both of which can break down bones if they're present in high amounts.
Alcohol can lead to high blood pressure, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure and stroke, help cause diabetes. Heavy drinking (and even small amounts) also puts more fat into the circulation of the body.
HARM TO RELATIONSHIPS, EVEN AT MILD USAGE LEVELS
Being less alert and responsive and even a bit "out of it" has one be less present for relationships, less responsive, and more irritable, before accounting for the health effects that reduce one's ability to engage well in relationships.
What is the cost of this?
Immeasurably damaging to one of the cores that affect happiness.
For weight regulation and nutrition, it has "empty" calories - poor nutritional value but uses up calories that we could use to get more beneficial nutrients.
Long term, it increases the risk of developing a long list of health conditions including breast cancer, oral cancers, heart disease, strokes and cirrhosis of the liver.
Research shows that a high alcohol intake can also damage our mental health, impair memory skills and reduce fertility.
Even small amounts affect this.
Maximum for women: 1 drink/day; maximum for men: 2 drinks/day (they metabolize it differently)
One standard drink = 10 grams of alcohol = 330 ml (11 oz) can of beer, a 100 ml (3.3 oz) glass of table wine or a 30 ml (1 oz) glass of straight spirits
Calories per gram of alcohol = 7 calories (which is high, fat has 9 calories); std drink = 70 calories; glass of wine = 106 calories
Size: 285 ml = 10 oz glass, 1 cup = 8 fluid oz., regular water glass, filled normally = 12 oz.
Glass of wine = 150 ml = 5 oz. 1 ml = .033814 oz.
There is a difference between something causing a particular effect and something occurring coincidentally with the result showing up as the effect of something else. We think that if we drink alcohol we will reduce our stress, but we fail to note that there are other things that will do that for us, with no bad side effects. The alcohol is not the "necessary ingredient" to our lowering our stress.
Even when we can trace an actual cause-effect relationship, such as alcohol increasing our "good" cholesterol, that does not mean that we couldn't use something else as effective or even more effective but which does not have the side effects.
Failing to differentiate as to what actually causes something and/or whether there are other more effective means without side effects provides a petri dish for generating cultural myths (or undifferentiated half-truths).
We do not need to drink alcohol to relax and get HDL; we do not need to "phase out" into a lower state of consciousness (which also lowers our ability to experience pleasure and alertness).
We do not need to drink a glass of wine a day to get resveratol.
Those are all questionable societal "rules".
So, I ask you to "think" - and to make reasoned conclusions.
(It's so very clear to me. You can infer from this piece what my conclusions are.)
For up to the maximum of 1 per day for women and 2 per day for men, after which there is rapid deterioration, per the Mayo Clinic:
"Alcohol can have several positive effects on the body's heart and blood vessels — the cardiovascular system. First, studies have found that drinking alcohol in moderation increases your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or "good" cholesterol, which helps carry away and break down extra cholesterol in blood that could otherwise block your arteries. Alcohol thins your blood, too, making it less likely that your arteries will form a blood clot. Moderate alcohol intake can lower inflammation throughout your body, as well, and that can also have a positive effect on your cardiovascular system.
These factors combine to result in a lower rate of cardiovascular disease in people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol than in people who do not drink alcohol at all. In addition to the heart benefits, moderate alcohol intake can slightly lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke and Alzheimer's disease."
However, if we compare it to using an alternative strategy of deep breathing and relaxation and if you eat well, there is no net gain from alcohol. I repeat: no net gain from alcohol.
If someone is unhealthy, then it may have some benefits. But there are none to a healthy person.
Other than that, you are taking in a toxin.
BUT WHAT ABOUT RED WINE?
The heart effects from red wine come from the grape skin and not the alcohol. Red grape juice has exactly the same heart benefits without the toxic side effects of alcohol.
(And one thing that is often omitted in the studies is how many gallons of wine you need to drink to get beneficial amounts of resveratol.)
That's it. I hope you make a good decision here, for your body, your happiness, and for those whom you care about.
UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENS AS ALCOHOL TRAVELS THROUGH YOUR BODY
Alcohol metabolizes extremely quickly, needing no digestion and absorbing quickly, getting priority over other nutrients. About 20 percent is absorbed directly across the walls of an empty stomach and can reach the brain within one minute.
During alcohol metabolism some body regulation processes are unavailable, including blocking some of the energy pathway. It shifts the body toward being more acidic. Fat will tend to clog the liver.
It raises blood glucose and glucocorticoids, increases fats in the blood that will increase attachments to the artery walls and contribute to cardiovascular disease. It affects receptors in the fat cells and increases "bad fat" accumulation around the middle.
It contributes to dementia and brain deterioration. It increases depression, anxiety and insomnia. It breaks through the blood brain barrier that protects the brain - directly affecting your cortex, which is responsible for "control" functions, such as inhibitions. It causes misfiring of synapses. It affects your short term memory - and your long term memory.
Your liver is involved in trying to handle the toxins. It can be damaged in function, thereby increasing the brain damage per amount of alcohol. It oxidizes some of the alcohol into an acidic balance, leaching calcium from the body.
The body must mobilize to deTOXIfy.
It is second in calories per gram only to fat, but it is void of nutrition, displacing good nutrition.
Watch this free video to get more insight: