The never ending question is alcohol good, or bad for your body’s health? I like to answer a question with a question… How much alcohol is too much before it effects your health? The answer to the question is, it is both bad aand good for your body. Some of you may say how can this be? The best way to approach and answer this question is to list the good and bad aspects of alcohol effects on you bodies health. First I nee d to briefly define 3 types of alcohol consumers 1) Casual 2) Social 3)Alcoholic. I would also like to point out I would never judge those that would consume alcohol as I would be a hypocrite. You see I classify myself as a casual consumer of alcohol. One must learn to balance every aspect of life including alcohol consumption, or it begins to control you and have a dramatic impact on your health, family, job and friends!
DEFINE: 1) Casual Alcohol Consumer – Causal is derived from cause. To that, “of a cause; acting as a cause, or having to do with cause.” Causal drinkers might toast the new year, Christmas cheer, a celebration, such as a wedding, maybe an annual outdoor camping venture, etc. The causal drinkers might want to achieve a “relaxed state.” For example, I may drink on occasion depending on the cause. When I do, I enjoy a “cool tasty buzz” (remind anyone of Fast Times at Ridgemont High? “Spicoli and Mr. Hand.”) anything beyond this point would not be enjoyable. 2) Social Alcohol Consumer – This is where “a lot” of Americans would be categorized per my personal experience and case studies. Social is defined as liking to be around others, intermingling and alcohol is readily available. Whether there be a football game, family gathering, celebration, relaxation in your local sports bar, or at home to wind down… Alcohol is usually in the mix. The casual drinker averages 4-10 drinks a week. For all too many, a lot of this consumption is on a weekend. 3. Alcoholic Consumer – This individual does not need a reason to drink and consumes over 10 drinks per week and usually explains away the problem with an excuse, or no excuse at all to drink.” A full blown alcoholic can not go a day without alcohol. An alcoholic may also be classified as one that can not go to an event without consuming and/or consumes more than 10 alcoholic beverages a week, or social event. Also, you’ll very rarely find an alcoholic that will volunteer to be a designated driver to/from a function. A true alcoholic does not know how to enjoy daily life, or event without alcohol. Usually when you approach a loved one with concern for their drinking addiction, you’ll typically receive “I can quit anytime I want to… Or, I don’t drink everyday, so therefore I don’t have a problem, why don’t you mind your own business! Your not perfect, I saw you with a beer 30 days ago!” “You can’t compare an alcoholics behavior with a responsible casual consumer behavior by definition!” However, a social consumer crosses a fine line with alcoholic behavior by definition and is not one that can provide proper advisement to an alcoholic if intervention is required!
Now that I have defined the 3 categories of alcohol consumption, let me briefly highlight the good and bad aspects of alcohol. To begin, there is not much good that comes out of consuming too much of any type of alcoholic beverage. There is only one type of alcoholic beverage science has documented having a health benefit with moderate consumption… Red wine, “one to two 5 oz glasses with the evening meal. The “Resveratrol” found in the red grape skin and seed has proven to increase HDL and lower cholesterol, antioxidant benefits, prevent blood clots, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, assist digestion and prevent plaque from forming on the artery walls [“If you would like to receive healthy heart benefits, with all the other benefits listed without the alcohol, “seek our “affiliate” Purity Product Patent Grape Extract Formula”]. Other than these facts, I’m not familiar with any other health benefits from any other type of alcoholic beverage. The bad far outweighs any good alcohol could provide your body, mind and soul. It is well documented through scientific studies that alcohol destroys brain cells and just about every other cell in your body. Remember, I referred to cell death & mutation “can lead” to cancer risk & manifestation (read my article “Can You Prevent Cancer?” Located in our Health Repository”). So other than red wine health benefits why do people drink? Well, it’s pretty obvious. Drinking provides the body mind and soul with an initial feeling of euphoria. For causal drinkers this feels like good cheer. Social drinkers feel good cheer initially, then depression with increased consumption. Far to often inhibitions provide false fronts to do things one normally would not do, and/or an excuse for bad behavior.
Alcoholics may be able to hold a daily job, but have to have that drink somewhere within a 24 hour window. It is rare that true addiction could go beyond a 24 hour window without a drink. The alcoholic has a difficult time socializing appropriately because the brain cells that control reasoning and judgement are killed off after each drinking event. The reasoning and judgement get worse with age as the bodies inability to process the toxins out of the body. Brain and organ cell death damage can not be reversed at some point causing grave harm the whole body! At some point critical life sustaining organs can and do fail if the alcohol cell saturation slaughter is not stopped!
In ending, to consume as a casual, or social drinker may lift the spirit creating positive harmony within the body, mind and soul. To abuse alcohol is to throw the body, mind and soul out of balance endangering one’s health. Unfortunately, in too many cases, alcohol destroys careers, relationships and family before receiving the necessary help to stop this type of self destructive behavior.
Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET. 2008 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing, www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.