Ever wondered if drinking alcohol has a positive affect on your health?
There are pro's and con's for drinking alcohol and it depends on how much you have. So it's all to do with the dose of alcohol. In small amounts, there's reduced risk of heart disease particularly coronary artery disease. That's where there's a shortage of blood getting through the arteries in the heart. It seems that the alcohol can help relax the arteries and allow greater blood flow.
There is also a reduced risk of gallstones and perhaps even diabetes. These risks really apply to people that are a bit older, say over 40 years. If you are at particular risk of heart disease because it is in your family or you've got a personal history of high cholesterol and other heart disease risk factors like diabetes, then that's the real benefit. There doesn't seem to be as many benefits for younger people. It's really when you get older that you can enjoy a little bit of wine.
But there are also risks, and they are increased liver and brain damage. The liver has to filter out the alcohol and when it gets overloaded then it can lead, in the long term, to cirrhosis. These are at high doses of alcohol on a daily basis. There is also increased risk of cancer particularly the mouth, the throat and the esophageus. I guess the whole brain damage thing and killing brain cells, well it's to do with memory loss.
There are clear guidelines from the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia for what the maximum per day should be - for men it's a maximum of four standard drinks per day and a maximum of six drinks on any one day. If you binge drink over six drinks there's increased risk of stroke, haemorrhage stroke in the brain.
For women there's a maximum of two drinks on average per day or a maximum of four drinks on any one day. Staying below these levels are what's considered safe drinking and remember, be honest with yourself about how much your having.