#Alcohol, the #Stress reliever of a long days’ work. It has long been known that alcohol is bad for the body, but #Health is often not the reason people drink it. It’s a drug that helps relax the body and mind, allowing individuals to tune out of work and enjoy themselves. However, are the health risks to any amount of alcohol too great? Or are recent reports that a small amount is good for you, correct?

Recent studies have suggested that drinking in moderation is good for you, and although they offer ‘evidence’. Is it strong enough evidence to suggest to the population that it is ‘safe’ to drink moderately?

Extreme Alcohol Abuse and the Effects on the Body

Firstly, the brain, where alcohol interferes with the communication pathways and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These kind of disruptions can affect the ability to think clearly and move with coordination, as well as the mood and behaviour of the individual. Too much alcohol causes problems to the heart; these include - Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heartbeat, Stroke, and High blood pressure.

The liver problems are well-known and they include; Steatosis, or fatty liver, Alcoholic hepatitis, Fibrosis, Cirrhosis. Alcohol also causes the pancreas to release toxic substances that can lead to pancreatitis, this is a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels within the pancreas. This would prevent proper digestion. Despite warnings, people are still ignorant to the fact that alcohol is a cause of cancer, much like any drug. Drinking too much can increase the threat to certain types of cancer, and this includes cancers of the mouth, oesophagus, throat, liver, and breast.

Finally, the immune system is significantly damaged when too much alcohol is consumed. This increases the threat to disease, infections and viruses to your body. There is more threat from infections like pneumonia and tuberculosis to chronic drinkers, than those who don’t drink too much. Binge drinking, or drinking too much on a single occasion slows the body’s ability to ward of infections. This can last up to 24 hours after a period of heavy drinking.

Recent Studies

Alcohol is a poison and claims that suggest otherwise is misleading. There have been countless studies that suggest that a small amount of alcohol is good for you, except most of these studies aren’t specific in their details. The problem lays with who their subjects are because the studies tend to be questionnaires to the public, with little scientific evidence. This presents several problems, firstly, people can lie but secondly, these rarely take into account an individual’s general lifestyle. A leading fitness expert who only drinks at the weekend results would differ from an office worker who rarely has time to exercise, who also only drinks at weekends.

Recent research published in June suggests light to moderate drinking does have a positive effect on the body. Some scientists say that for the average healthy person, light to moderate drinking is healthy. But there is significantly less debate on the increased risk of cancer through alcohol consumption. Approx. 3.5% of deaths in America can be directly traced to alcohol. Recently, the World Health Organisation reiterated that people who drink, irrespective of the amount, face an increased threat of cancer. Even though, those who drink less are better protected, warnings suggest to check out family history.

Misconceptions

There is a common misconception that a small amount of alcohol cleans the liver, this claim is unfounded. Alcohol is inherently a poison to the liver, this is a dangerous misconception and should not be circulated. Misconceptions and the positive health reports risk lives; it can cause a numbing effect to the dangers of alcohol consumption. Whether you are a heavy or light drinker, the long-term effects are detrimental to the body. Alcohol is a poison for your body and mind, these are the cold hard truths.