Alcohol and health


Is alcohol really bad for me? It’s difficult to believe it is, but cutting down on your alcohol consumption could save your life (or someone else’s). Alcohol is fun, but only in moderation.

Just because alcohol doesn’t contain chocolate drops, it doesn’t mean it’s not fattening. As well as the calories, alcohol also stimulates the appetite and increases the flow of gastric juices, so you feel hungrier than you really are. So cut back on alcohol if you want to lose weight.

Excess alcohol intake has been linked to mouth, throat, liver, breast, womb and colon cancer.

Alcohol is involved in 15% of deaths from road traffic accidents. When people have drunk alcohol, they are usually more confident that they are ‘a good driver’, but their concentration is worse and their reaction times are slower.

If you drive at two times the UK legal limit for alcohol, you are 50 times more likely to be involved in a fatal car crash.

Coffee does not sober you up after too much alcohol. Don’t believe that it’s OK to drink to excess, have lots of coffee and then drive or operate machinery. Your judgment will still be impaired.

Excess alcohol causes testosterone to drop and damages sperm. Yet more reasons to moderate your alcohol intake.

Men who drink alcohol may have a small increased risk for developing atrial fibrillation, or atrial flutter — a type of irregular heartbeat.

If you are pregnant, avoid alcohol for the sake of your baby. Research shows that alcohol (even 3-6 units a week) affects the functioning of the brain of the foetus. (Alcohol Education and Research Council)

Alcohol affects the body’s ability to absorb most of the B vitamins and zinc. This is ironic because the B vitamin complex is important for our nervous system and to help us feel calm – just the reason some people drink alcohol. If you’re drinking excessively for this reason, try taking a good quality B vitamin complex or some flower remedies.

If you find it difficult to get through a minor crisis or stressful day without resorting to alcohol, you need to think seriously about what’s going on.

Don’t seek comfort in the idea that you can’t have a problem with alcohol because you only buy expensive wine and spirits.

If you’ve had a night of heavy drinking it’s best not to drink alcohol for 48 hours to allow your body to recover. Drink lots of water and fruit juice instead.

If you are giving up smoking or cutting down on alcohol, change the routines that are associated with these activities, just for a while.

Out for a long evening of drinking? Alternate alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks to keep yourself hydrated and reduce your alcohol intake.

When you’ve had a lot of alcohol, you may feel sexy, confident and attractive, but excess alcohol makes most people unattractive, loud, stupid and embarrassing.