This post will mostly talk about alcohol. Before that, i would like to tell you something. In the last 10 years, i lived in two different places that have a totally different alcoholic culture. I used to live in Bali (Indonesia), which have no restriction in alcohol consumption. You can find alcohol in form of beer to Vodka easily here. People drink quite often here. Then i moved to Yogyakarta (Indonesia) to continue my study in medicine. Unlike Bali, here they have a high restriction of alcohol. You can only buy an alcohol in few cafe, restaurant and bar. Those makes people in this town consume alcohol less often.
Last Years, there is a shocking news of a famous DJ died because of alcohol abuse. Avicii’s death really makes a lot of people sad. But we wont talk about his death in this post, in fact i will tell you about how much alcohol is too much for our body and what does it do to our body. Also for you who take alcohol, i will give you the daily allowance for alcohol consumption.
Let’s get started…
What Is Alcohol?
The word alcohol come from Arabic language “Kohl” a powder used in eyeliner. According to scientist, alcohol distillation was known to Islamic culture in the early eighth century. Arabic people use this substance as an ingredient for perfume, eyeliner and cosmetic. Abū Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyyā al-Rāzī (854 CE-925 CE) or Rhazes (Latin name) is credited in discovery of ethanol. Robert Boyle discovered pure methanol in 1661.
In term of chemistry, alcohol is a substance which have hydroxyl functional group (-OH) that bound to a carbon. There are many form of alcohol, the most famous two is methanol and ethanol. We can find methanol in textile, plywood, antiseptic etc. A lot of industry also use methanol as a fuel. While ethanol is main ingredient for all alcoholic beverage.
We cannot consume methanol, because it has a dangerous effect on our body. There are many cases of methanol poisoning. The symptom vary from a dizziness, vomiting and gastric upset to permanently loss of vision. Even it also can cause a sudden death.
Today, we can find alcohol in may form including beverages and medical drug. Australia Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) classify alcohol as a depression drug, which slow down the biological messages traveling from brain to the body. Most people know this as “being drunk”.
Health Effect of Alcohol
There are several study that shown the effect of alcohol to our body. Alcohol have both positive and negative effect on body. Possible positive effect of alcohol are reducing the risk of heart disease, possibly reduce a risk of ischemic disease and possibly reduce of diabetes. However, those effect only happen if you maintain low to moderate consumption of alcohol and it is not certain. (Mayo Clinic).
Alcohol cab also bring a negative effect on your body. Let’s break down the effect of long term abusive alcohol consumption based on the affected organ.
Alcohol can cause a mood and behavior change, and loss of movement coordination. This what they called as “drunk” mean. Alcohol intoxicate brain neural signal.
Long term of heavy alcohol consumption can lead to severe heart problem. It can cause cardiomyopathy (stretching of heart muscle, which cause a failure in heart pumping mechanism), arrhythmia (irregular heart beat), high blood pressure and even a stroke.
Alcohol can cause a series of liver disease. Most common one is fatty liver or steatosis, if this condition remain untreated and with further heavy alcohol consumption, it can lead to a liver cirrhosis (a pre-cancer state of the liver).
A heavy drinker can get a pancreatitis/inflammation of the pancreas. This inflammation is consider to be a dangerous one and need a immediate therapy.
Heavy drinking can weakened your immune system. That will makes you easier to catch cold or get a flu. In severely heavy drinker, they might get pneumonia and tuberculosis infection.
Obviously, alcohol can cause several type of cancer, including mouth, esophagus, throat, liver and breast.
For those who have a previous history of all the above, i strongly suggest that you avoid drinking alcohol.
Low Risk Alcohol Guidelines
The UK Chief Medical Officer make a guideline of alcohol consumption to avoid the harmful effect of it. To reduce the risk to a low level, one can only consume not more than 14 units of alcohol a week.
Which mean you can only take
- Six glasses of 175 ml of 13% Wine
- Six pints of 568 ml of 4% Ale or Lager
- Five pints of 568 ml of 4.5% Cider
- Fourteen glasses of 25 ml of 40% Spirits
It applies to both man and woman, except for pregnant woman (which i already discuss in other post)
That’s all about this post, as the label said “drink responsibly” and i added “drink healthy”.
See you on next post and God Bless!