Alcohol is one of the most consumed stimulants in the world. The consequences of its abuse are often visible in our country. What are we guided by reaching for this fashionable liquor? Taste, health values, the desire to relax and make new contacts? Do we realize that we are reaching for poison? Alcohol is rightly called a stimulant because it consumes a human being. While we all agree with the harmful effects of smoking, the negative impact of alcohol consumption is already neglected.
What is alcohol?
The word alcohol probably comes from the Arabic words al-ghul, which means „evil spirit.” Ethanol has been accompanying people since ancient times. The first alcoholic drinks were created in a random way as a result of the fermentation of fruits or grains of cereals. A pure alcohol containing little water (spirit) is obtained by distillation, using the difference in boiling point between ethanol and water.
Ethyl alcohol is a chemical biologically active substance. Its main metabolite, acetaldehyde, has direct toxic effects on the tissues of the body.
Impact on health According to the World Health Organization, alcohol is in third place among the risk factors for population health. Higher risks are associated with smoking and hypertension. Alcohol consumption is associated with the occurrence of over 60 types of diseases and injuries. Transplanting with the amount of alcoholic beverages can unfortunately lead to addiction.
Alcoholic beverages are harmful to almost all tissues and organs. The most important negative action concerns the nervous system. Even a small amount of alcohol reduces its efficiency. As we drink more glasses of disappearance of criticism, rational thinking, the visual and auditory reaction is disturbed, as well as the precision of movements. It impairs the so-called Higher emotionality, only proper to man. It includes ethics, morality, a sense of family and interpersonal relationships. On the other hand, instincts and drives and primitive behaviors are revealed. There is also drowsiness and drowsiness. A man loses consciousness. A very large amount of alcohol consumed can even lead to death.
The toxic effects of ethyl alcohol and its transformation products causes lesions in the following systems
- nervous system polyneuropathy (manifested by sensory disorders in the limbs), atrophic changes in the cerebellum and brain, loss of gray matter of the brain, encephalopathy and others; alcohol abuse permanently damages the frontal lobe in the brain responsible, among others for thinking, tact and moral behavior, it causes aggression of an addicted person;
- gastrointestinal tract chronic inflammation of mucous membranes in the mouth, esophagus, stomach and duodenum, impaired intestinal motility and impaired absorption, inflammation of the pancreas and liver (steatosis, fibrosis and cirrhosis) and others;
- circulatory system hypertension, degenerative changes of myocardial fibers, steatosis and cardiac enlargement;
- respiratory tract chronic tracheitis and bronchitis;
- urinary tract acute renal failure, increased uric acid levels in the blood and associated symptoms of gout;
- endocrine system abnormal testosterone secretion, reduction of sperm motility and destruction of their structure, hypogonadism and feminization in men, women with menstrual disorders, atrophy of ovaries and masculinization;
- immune system reduced resistance to viral and bacterial infections.
Alcohol consumption is a risk factor for many cancers. In addition, there is a disturbance in the absorption of B vitamins, as well as deficiencies of vitamins A, K and C. Ethanol has a diuretic effect, that is, it dehydrates the body. The negative effects of the influence of alcoholic beverages are therefore very much. Think about it before you reach for another drink.
Alcohol and health properties
It is true that especially red wine contains a lot of so-called antioxidants. flavonoids that eliminate free radicals and prevent the accumulation of bad cholesterol in the body. Red dry wine is therefore the best alternative. However, remember not to overdo it with its amount, because excess also harms our health.
Alcohol and slimming All types of alcohol contain calories. 1 gram of alcohol is 7 kcal, therefore the stronger the liquor, the higher its energy value.
Sample calorific value of individual alcohols
a glass of dry white wine – 100 kcal
a glass of white sweet wine – 140 kcal
a glass of semi-dry wine – 120 kcal
a glass of red wine – 100 kcal
a glass of champagne – 115 kcal
a glass of vodka (50ml) – 110 kcal
beer bottle (0.5 l) – 250 kcal
a glass of cognac (40 ml) – 110 kcal
coffee liqueur (20ml) – 85 kcal
a glass of eggnog (40ml) – 130 kcal
The addition of 200-300 kcal (this includes one beer or two glasses of vodka) to the daily diet can disrupt the effects of the diet. Instead of strong spirits, it is better to reach for low-grade liquors, such as a glass of dry red wine or a glass of beer (low or even non-alcoholic). While slimming, it is better to avoid strong alcohols, ie whiskey, vodka, cognacs and liqueurs.
Why do we drink alcohol?
This is related not only to the fact that alcohol itself provides calories, but also that the body can metabolize it, it needs additional energy from carbohydrates. This increases our appetite, which can lead to additional snacking, often high-calorie snacks. Therefore, in the weight loss process, alcoholic beverages should not appear more often than about 1-2 times a week.
Therefore, remember the golden rule „everything in moderation”. A glass of dry red wine to dinner from time to time will not hurt. Remember about healthy, balanced diet and physical activity!