How Alcohol Affects Your Health

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Show Notes

1.10 min          Alcohol is a risk factor for cancer.
4.55 min          What is “Binge Drinking”?
6.03 min          Alcohol Metabolism.
11.15 min        Alcohol Metabolism for different people.

How alcohol is metabolized in the Body

Alcohol when ingested is metabolized in the body through a couple pathways and at numerous sites. The main enzymes involved in breaking down alcohol are aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) and alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH).

These enzymes break down alcohol so that the body can easily eliminate it from the body and a byproduct is Acetaldehyde which is a toxin and a known carcinogen. Acetaldehyde is then further broken down to Acetate and then water and carbon dioxide to be eliminated from the body.

Metabolism occurs mostly in the liver but also in other tissues like the brain, pancreas, and gastrointestinal tracts therefore the toxin itself can have detrimental effects to the organs.

Alcohol has been linked to numerous cancers including breast cancer, upper respiratory cancer, liver cancer, and even colon cancer.

What is considered a serving of alcohol?

The daily recommendation for alcohol consumption is different for males and females partly due to the amount of enzymes each gender has to metabolize the alcohol. Males tend to have more enzymes to breakdown alcohol versus females thus the recommendation for females is limit to 1 serving per day while males can have up to 2 drinks per day.

A standard drink is determined by the concentration of alcohol in the drink. The standard drink will be different in each country but in the US, a standard drink can be a glass of wine (5 fl. oz , 12% alcohol), a shot of hard liquor (1.5 fl. Oz, 40% alcohol), or a glass of beer (8-9 fl. Oz, 7% alcohol)

There has been many research done to prove the benefits of certain spirits, whether be the antioxidants in wine or the bone strengthening properties of beer.

However, drinking within the daily recommendations, or even better only occasional drinks, is still a sound advice to follow considering the negative effects of alcohol we mentioned above.

Bringing us to the next topic of “Binge Drinking.”

Binge drinking is when an individual drinks more than 2 drinks in a short amount of time, overloading the body with alcohol and its toxic by products. The body will certainly be affected by the toxic build up and damages done, lingering several days and may take up to weeks to recover from.

In summary, we are not trying to say that alcohol is forbidden, although abstaining from alcohol is the healthiest choice.

However, it is always important to know your body and how to it deals with what you eat or drink in order to be more cautious the next time we go out bar hopping.

Being healthy is the new cool!

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