For years, scientists around the world have been trying to answer the question of whether there are safe doses of alcohol and, if so, which ones and how to measure them? Science knows the answer.
Recent recommendations indicate a figure of 14 alcohol units (units) per week for men and women. At the same time, we should not forget that the systematic use of alcoholic beverages increases the risk of developing certain types of cancer: oral cavity, throat, and mammary glands.
An absolute contraindication to alcohol is liver disease, pregnancy and lactation.
How to calculate alcohol units?
The number of alcohol units (AE) depends on the volume and strength of the drink. Units for various types of alcohol:
How to protect yourself in the holidays?
A long-term (10–20 years) excess of the weekly norm increases the risk of developing heart, liver, brain, and nervous system diseases. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart muscle ceases to cope with the load. If for some reason you are not able to comply with the prescribed weekly rates, for example, during the holiday season, try to evenly distribute the allowable amount of alcohol for 3-4 days. Even if you do not go beyond the permitted doses, every week arrange for yourself 2-3 “unloading” days without alcohol.
How does alcohol affect the liver?
Prolonged use of alcohol threatens the accumulation of fat in the liver cells (hepatosis). It is important to remember that this disease is asymptomatic. When a person with hepatosis continues to abuse alcohol, he develops alcoholic hepatitis. If you give up alcohol at this stage, there is a high probability that the liver will recover. If a person continues to consume alcohol, he risks bringing the matter to cirrhosis. Unfortunately, this process is not only irreversible, but also very dangerous because it can lead to liver failure or liver cancer.
Is there any benefit from alcohol?
Studies have shown that a small amount of alcohol can positively affect the work of the heart in women over 45 years of age. Scientists have not yet figured out the reasons for this effect, but claim that the following properties contribute to this. First, alcohol increases the level of "good" cholesterol and thereby reduces the amount of fatty deposits that constrict and clog the beds of blood vessels. And, secondly, alcohol prevents the formation of blood clots that can block the arteries and cause a heart attack.
Alcohol does not allow platelets to stick to the walls of blood vessels and does not allow them to stick together with each other. In addition, a small amount of alcohol during a meal reduces the production of fibrinogen protein, released by the liver and responsible for the formation of blood clots.
Even if the figures for your personal alcohol consumption statistics are below the established norm, it does not mean that you can continue to drink as often. Did you know that a glass of wine contains as many calories as a piece of chocolate, and a glass of beer as much as an average package of chips? Successful weight loss suggests that you consume fewer calories than you spend. That is why the basis of most diets for weight loss is counting calories.
If you do not suffer from chronic diseases, adhere to proper nutrition and do not lead a sedentary lifestyle, there is nothing wrong with sometimes allowing yourself a little drink. The main thing - do not forget that the recommendations of physicians are only a designation of the upper limits of the norm, but not a direct guide to action.