01. Alcohol specifically ethanol (ethyl alcohol) is the most socially-accepted addictive drug which can have life-threatening health hazards.
02. Health benefits are frequently claimed for alcohol - when consumed in "moderation". Most of the claimed benefits are associated with reducing cardiovascular disease.
03. Modest doses of ethanol beneficially increases plasma HDL cholesterol and reduces blood pressure while harmfully raising plasma triglycerides, decreasing heart muscle contractility and increasing heart rate. Heavier drinking increases blood pressure.
04. For diabetics, ethanol may produce atherosclerosis at all doses in a direct dose-dependent fashion.
05. Reduced clotting is another benefit of light ethanol consumption - an effect ethanol shares with aspirin. And as with aspirin, with less clotting there is less chance of coronary artery disease, but a greater danger of hemorrhagic stroke.
06. Use of ethanol has been associated with higher risk of mortality from hypertension, hemorrhagic stroke and cardiomyopathy.
07. Ethanol reacts with fatty acids to produce fatty acid ethyl esters which are toxic to mitochondria - leading to heart muscle cell damage.
08. Ethanol impairment of protein synthesis affects both skeletal and heart muscle. In isolated heart cells ethanol reduces the number & uniformity of fibrils (minute fibers).
09. Studies have shown that for people who are lean and active, HDL cholesterol is not lowered with ethanol.
10. Ethanol can increase liver concentrations of CYP2E1 up to tenfold. Induction of CYP2E1 by ethanol may be a significant contributer to alcohol induced liver diseas.
11. Heavy drinking can lead to triglyceride accumulation - fatty liver.
12. Protein deficiency increases liver damage due to ethanol.
13. The cancer rate in alcoholics is ten times higher than that in the general population.
14. Every 10 grams (10 ml) per day of ethanol consumption is associated with a 9% increase in breast cancer .
15. Both acute & chronic ethanol consumption increases serum estrogen and decreases serum androgen in both men & women.
16. Many alcoholic men have irreversible atrophy of their testicles.
17. The combination of ethanol, cigarette smoking seems to have a powerful synergistic effect in oral, pharyngeal cancer.
18. Ethanol is known to reduce T-cells (Thymus-derived lymphocytes) - suppression of the immune system that can increase cancer incidence and decrease resistance to infectious disease.
19. Ethanol may also suppress DNA methylation of oncogenes (cancer-inducing genes) leading to dedifferentiation & proliferation.
20. Other mechanisms suggested for increased incidence of cancer with ethanol include effects on liver carcinogen metabolism, generation of free-radicals, depression of DNA-repair, reduced nutrients due to reduced absorption and reduced consumption of food nutrients associated with obtaining calories from alcohol.
21. Both acute and chronic alchohol consumption can suppress the immune system, leading to increased susceptibility to infections. Decreased antigen-presenting cell function appears to be the most important factor in reduced cell-mediated immunity.
23. Alcohol damages energy-generating systems of mitochondria, while at the same time increasing metabolism.
24. Ethanol stimulates acid-rich gastric secretions, making alcohol consumption inadvisable for patients with peptic ulcers.
25. Ethanol interferes with the metabolism of oral hypoglycemics (such as tolbutamide) taken by some diabetics.
26. Asthma is worsened by alcoholic beverages for nearly a third of asthmatics.
27. Aspirin & ethanol are not a good combination. Taken together they significantly worsen bleeding time (hemorrhagic stroke), gastric irritation and foetal brain damage.
28. The risk of spinal osteoporosis with vertebral fractures is significantly greater among men who drink alcoholic beverages than those who don't.
29. Small amounts of alcohol can increase the sex drive of men, while at the same time reducing their capacity to get an erection.
30. 10-15% of alcoholics experience peripheral neuropathy, causing numbness & tingling.
31. Studies of all-cause mortality show a linear relationship between alcohol consumption and death below the age of 60.
32. Driving under the influence of alcohol is the most important cause of death in automobile accidents.
33. For non-motor vehicle accidents, ethanol intoxication accounted for 32% of fatal falls, 42% of fatal fires/burns, 34% of fatal drownings and 29% of fatal poisonings. 32% of homicide victims and 23% of suicide victims were intoxicated.
34. Ethanol is implicated in up to half of all cases of marital violence.
35. Hangovers result from blockage of AntiDiuretic Hormone (ADH) by alcohol, which leads to high urination and subsequent dehydration.The symptoms are throbbing head (due to reduced cranial blood pressure), dry mouth, lethargy, nausea and hypersensitivity to light & sound.
36. Medical authorities typically suggest total abstinence from ethanol for those who have uncontrolled high blood pressure, substantially elevated triglycerides, liver disease, gastrointestinal ulcers and alcoholic myopathy.
37. Ethanol is also contraindicated for patients on many medications, including antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline (Elavil), and antianxiety drugs such as alprazolam (Xanax) and lorazepam (Ativan).
38. There is reason to believe that ethanol might have some benefit for coronary heart disease for those with high blood LDL cholesterol. But the benefit can usually be achieved more safely by other means of lowering LDL cholesterol.
39. There is a significant risk of birth defects related to use of alcohol use during pregnancy. Heavy drinking can cause fetal alcohol syndrome, which prevents normal growth, and may cause intellectual disability (mental retardation), malformations of the skull and face, and other findings.
40. There is no known benefit of alcohol use during pregnancy. Thus, experts advise completely avoiding alcohol during pregnancy.
So Think Twice,
Before you Drink.
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Before you Drink.
Click Here For More Health Related Articles