"There is a reason that the word "intoxication" was chosen to explain the effects of alcohol on the body. Intoxication is derived from a Latin word meaning "to poison".
While it is generally thought that occasional or moderate use (2-3 drinks per week) is beneficial to our health, more can lead to addiction, emotional problems, and many degenerative problems. And the most recent research now suggests that there is no “safe” level of alcohol consumption and every glass increases cancer and heart disease risk.
First of all, alcohol is highly addictive — requiring more and more to produce the same effect. It also contains lots of calories and very few nutrients. In fact, alcohol has 7 calories per gram of carbohydrate as opposed to 4 calories per gram in all other carbohydrates. And these calories don't fill us up, but rather alcohol can trigger cravings and increase appetite causing you to eat more!
Alcohol dehydrates the body, depletes electrolytes, and is a toxic irritant due to the many chemicals used in the fermentation and bottling process. And it is a central nervous system depressant and an emotional suppressant.
Obesity, gastritis and ulcers, pancreatitis, hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, hypoglycemia and diabetes, heart disease, gout, nerve and brain dysfunction, cancer, nutritional deficiencies, immune suppression, and injuries and death from falls and auto accidents are some of the common problems.
When it comes to alcohol, the best case scenario is to not drink at all as even small amounts aren't without risk. However, if you do choose to consume alcohol, Dr. Mark Hyman recommends treating it as a "recreational drug" rather than an everyday habit.
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Happy, Healthy Living!
JoAnn Newton is a Master Massage Therapist, Certified Diet Counselor & Holistic Nutrition Educator, and Spiritual Counselor who is passionate about creating, living, and enjoying health, balance, and freedom on all levels, both personally and professionally, while providing educational and healing services.