Alcohol use is a leading risk factor for global disease burden and causes substantial health loss. (1)
Heavy drinking has been shown to have the greatest risk factor for the Oral Cavity and Esophagus in Males and the Liver, Oral Cavity and Esophagus in Females (3)
The alcohol or ethanol content found in most alcoholic drinks is a colorless, flammable liquid that is produced by naturally fermenting sugars in grapes, apples, grains etc. Ethanol is metabolized into acetaldehyde in the body, which is listed as a group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
Once alcohol reaches the bloodstream, it goes to the liver to be processed or metabolized. The liver produces enzymes that break down the alcohol molecules. When someone is drinking alcohol particularly quickly, the liver cannot process all the alcohol at the same rate, so it remains in the body. The brain, stomach and pancreas also metabolize the excess alcohol in the body.
The calories in alcoholic beverages can add up quickly. When you reduce or stop drinking alcohol, your overall calorie intake will decrease, as long as you don’t replace it with another high calorie substitute.
GGT plays a significant role in helping your liver to metabolise toxins, including acetaldehyde. High levels of GGT can be an indication of damage to the liver. GGT levels become elevated after 24 hours to 2 weeks of heavy alcohol consumption and return to normal within 2 to 6 weeks of abstinence (2)
Much has been written about the potential health benefits of moderate drinking. However, a recent study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation found that the optimal number of alcoholic drinks to minimize harm is zero.
- This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol: Find Freedom, Rediscover Happiness & Change Your Life by Annie Grace
- The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray
- Easy Way to Control Alcohol by Alan Carr