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Is Alcohol Really that Bad?

Im sure youve heard about or read about how certain alcoholic drinks can be beneficial to your health. Generally, a glass of red wine per day is the recommendation, but what about how other alcoholic drinks effect the body? Are they all really that bad? Is there any good that can come of these beverages, and how do they really effect the body?

Drinking alcohol can lead to dehydration since alcohol suppresses the production of antidiuretic hormone and can lead to electrolyte imbalances. Too much alcohol can also lead to stomach distress, since the alcohol causes the stomach cells to produce excess gastric acid. Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol can also lead to high blood pressure.

Alcohol consumption can lead to a variety of health problems, and excessive alcohol consumption can only make these problems worse. According to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, a 2009 article showed that alcohol consumption increased estrogen levels (a major factor in breast cancer), and as little as one alcoholic drink per day can increase the risk of breast cancer. In other organs, heavy alcohol consumption can lead to pancreatitis, in which the pancreas becomes inflamed and is a major cause of pancreatic cancer. In the liver, heavy alcohol use can cause the liver to accumulate fat and lead to hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver. In addition to hepatitis, the liver can succumb to cirrhosis, a condition in which the liver cells cannot regenerate and may also lead to liver failure. In high amounts, alcohol kills brain cells and can lead to memory loss and permanent brain damage.

These are just the physical ramifications of heavy alcohol consumption. Alcohol abuse can also lead to relationship problems, trouble at work and legal problems like drunk driving. While it may be safe to enjoy a glass of red wine each day, getting loaded on a frequent, or even an infrequent basis, surely is not a good road to be going down.

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