Alcohol is intoxicating agent in beer and wine alcohol, which all contain different amounts of alcohol. Recently it has been shown that moderate alcohol consumption can be beneficial. One drink a day for women and two for men should be the maximum amount consumed to be able to fall under the “moderate” headline. Pregnant women do not fall under this category, neither do alcoholics or people on medication should not be taken with alcohol.
The amount of alcohol that anyone can drink with no ill effect will be dependent on factors such as age, sex and weight.
Alcohol is rapidly absorbed. It need not be digested as food and enters the bloodstream quickly. About 20% of the alcohol will be absorbed through the stomach when it is empty, and reach the brain in less than a minute. Another 10% of alcohol is passed in the urine and expelled through breathing and perspiration.
The upper part of the small intestine absorb the alcohol fastest. This blood then travels to the liver from the gastrointestinal tract and affects every cell in the liver. Alcohol affects every organ in the body, but the most dramatic effect on the liver. Liver cells run on fatty acids as fuel, which are then transported to other tissues in the body. When alcohol is present the liver has the metabolism of alcohol before fatty acids, which means these fatty acids accumulate in large amounts waiting to be processed. Alcohol abuse can cause permanent damage to the structure of cells in the liver, which in turn affects the ability of the liver to break fatty acids. The liver can metabolic about one drink per hour, in fact, any more than that and excess alcohol throughout the body until the liver can process it.
Constant heavy drinking will harm the liver clogged with fat and less efficient to do other important tasks. This accumulation of fatty acids is the first sign of liver damage in heavy drinkers and deters distribution of oxygen and vital nutrients to the cells of the liver.
Alcohol contains calories, but these calories contain no nutrients. A heavy drinker who consumes large amounts of alcohol is very unlikely to eat properly.
There are numerous other ill effects of heavy drinking – heart disease, kidney disease, malnutrition, obesity and severe psychological problems such as depression and insomnia.