Risks and Benefits of Alcohol Consumption
Benefits of Alcohol Consumption
Moderate alcohol consumption may lead to various health benefits to the user. First, it can prevent heart disease. There are over 100 studies, which have proven that alcohol reduces the occurrence of heart diseases such as sudden cardiac death, heart attack, peripheral vascular disease, as well as stroke arising from a blood clot. This benefit occurs to both men and women without heart diseases. The benefit can be explained scientifically and biologically because moderate amounts of alcohol lead to increased high-density lipoprotein, thus protecting the heart against diseases. The second benefit is the prevention of gallstones and two types of diabetes. (Harvard T.H. Chan, nd, 2018). The benefit is possible because moderate alcohol has been associated with better sensitivity to insulin. For heavy drinkers, however, the benefit does not accrue to them. The third benefit is social and psychological benefits. This is because drinking alcohol can improve digestion, giving a soothing respite after a stressful day. Drinking with friends occasionally can also improve the social life of a person.
Risks of Alcohol Consumption
There are various benefits associated with moderate consumption of alcohol, however, they cannot outweigh the risks. Although some people drink moderately, most people who take alcohol consume it excessively. One of the risks associated with increased alcohol consumption is liver diseases. This is due to inflammation, cirrhosis, and potentially fatal diseases, which occur in the liver due to excessive consumption. Another risk is damaging the heart muscles (Harvard T.H. Chan, nd, 2018). The damage mainly occurs due to high blood pressure, which results from heavy consumption of alcohol. Alcohol has also been linked to some cancer types. They include cancer of mouth, breasts, larynx, colon, mouth, esophagus, rectum, and pharynx. In women, alcohol also leads to increased risks of the liver as well as colorectal. According to research, each of these risks is multiplied in individuals who consume excess alcohol and also smoke tobacco.
Avoiding Potential Risks of Alcohol
Apart from avoiding the consumption of alcohol completely, there are other ways that one can adopt to minimize the risks associated with consumption of alcohol. One of the ways is eating before or after the consumption. When food is available in the small intestines, it helps to slow down the absorption of alcohol, thus slowing down its effect. According to research, fatty and rich foods minimize the process thus making it easier for the body to deal with excessive consumption of alcohol. Another way is to take alcohol slowly. The recommendable speed is for one to take one drink per hour to allow digestion and prevent drunkenness. One should also take beverages that have low alcohol contents, such as 10%. Another important way of avoiding health risks is drinking a lot of water as well as other non-alcoholic beverages (Kelly, 2017). This will help the body to remain hydrated thus alleviating the dehydration, which is caused by alcohol.
Differences in Risks of Alcohol Consumption
The risks of alcohol consumption apply to every person regardless of their age or gender. Therefore, there is no difference between my peers and the rest of the population, because each person is exposed to the same risks. However, the risks are likely to be higher in older persons, because they have less body mass. People with higher sensitivity to the levels of alcohol in the body are also at a higher risk compared to my peers (Eigenbrodt, Mosley Jr, Hutchinson, Watson, Chambless & Szklo, 2001). Therefore, as much as the risks of alcohol consumption occur in all persons, they are more likely to occur to specific groups of people in the society compared to my peers.