1. Effects on the Liver
The main function of the liver is to break down toxins and convert them into waste material. Thus, all the alcohol which is consumed will be sent to the liver to be broken down. Yet, this is the very reason that makes the liver prone to alcoholic liver diseases.
There are a few diseases that can affect your liver, and the first of which to appear is fatty liver, where there is increased fat inside the liver cells. However, this is usually without symptoms and is fully reversible.
Next, for heavy drinkers, the liver may end up getting inflamed, and may even lead to scarring of the liver, causing cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is irreversible, and causes many health problems. In advanced stages, people suffering from cirrhosis may require a liver transplant.
2. Effects on the Brain
Alcohol obviously has a great impact on the brain, considering that it makes you inebriated. This happens as alcohol reduces communication between brain cells, and is a short term effect.
However, binge drinking may lead to amnesia and blackout, and in the cases of chronic alcohol abuse, there may be permanent impairment of brain functions. Chronic alcohol abuse may also lead to an increased risk of dementia and brain shrinkage, causing an inability to lead an independent life.
On the other hand, drinking in moderate amounts helps prevent dementia, especially for the elderly.
3. Effects on Depression
Most people drink alcohol to combat depression and improve their mood, but some studies have shown that alcohol abuse may, in fact, lead to greater depression.
Drinking alcohol may initially help to reduce stress and improve mood, but eventually, after the high you get from drinking, come the withdrawals, which worsens mental health, and will result in a vicious cycle.
4. Effects on Body Weight
In terms of calories, alcohol is the next most energy-rich nutrient after fat. In fact, beer contains as much calories as sugared soft drinks, and red wine has double that amount.
However, the link between alcohol is rather inconsistent, and studies have shown that moderate drinking, and drinking wine is linked to reduced weight gain, while beer, and heavy drinking, causes weight gain.
5. Effects on Cardiovascular Health
Your cardiovascular system deals with the heart and blood vessels. Diseases in the cardiovascular system is a leading cause of death in modern society, commonly by heart attacks and strokes. Alcohol has a complex relationship with cardiovascular diseases, and is mostly predicated on how much alcohol is consumed.
While alcohol abuse tends to lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, moderate consumption of alcohol actually leads to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
The benefits of drinking in small amounts are as follows:
– Raises good cholesterol levels
– Decreases blood pressure
– Lowers concentration of fibrinogen, a substance that contributes to blood clots
– Reduce risk of diabetes
– Reduce stress and anxiety for the moment
6. Effects on Type 2 Diabetes
Moderate drinking may also provide benefits against diabetes, such as reducing insulin resistance by reducing the intake of blood sugar. As with the previous entries, drinking alcohol is only harmful when taken in copious amounts.
7. Effects on Cancer
Drinking regularly may help combat cancer, studies have shown. However, some studies have also revealed that even with light alcohol consumption, one is linked to an 80% high chance of getting risk and throat cancer. The more you drink, the more likely you are to develop such complications to your health.
8. Effects on Pregnancy
Alcohol doesn’t just affect the consumer directly, but in the case of pregnant women, alcohol abuse may lead to birth defects. Additionally, it could also be detrimental to the development, growth, intelligence, and behaviour of the child, which may affect the child for the rest of its life.