When we hear the words like alcohol, liquor or booze, the thoughts and feeling that we could relate to are intoxication, high or addiction.
But alcohol is a controversial subject in itself because, just like a coin has two sides, alcohol also has its share of pros and cons. Yes, the intoxicating glass of booze also possesses health benefits but the catch lies in the amount of alcohol consumed. No matter how much drinking is frowned upon, moderate drinking never hurts rather helps our body in certain ways.
But what misleads most, is the fine line of demarcation between moderate drinking and excessive drinking. Going forth is the next question which might come to your mind, is how to differentiate between moderate drinking and heavy drinking. Then as per guidelines laid down by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism (NIAAA), consumption of four or lesser drinks by men and three or lesser drinks by women, in a single day is considered as moderate drinking. In a week, women should take no more than nine drinks and men can take up to fourteen drinks. In terms of percentage of alcohol, each drinking episode should be within the below-defined limits.
- 5% alcohol (Beer): approximately 350 ml to 400 ml.
- 12.5% alcohol (Wine): approximately 150 ml.
- 40% alcohol (80 proof distilled liquor): approximately 50 ml.
Any consumption beyond these defined guidelines is considered excessive or heavy drinking.
There are numerous health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption, some of such benefits have been enlisted below.
• Alcohol helps in maintaining a healthy heart, by lowering the levels of bad cholesterol and elevating the levels of good cholesterol. This further helps in escaping, heart attacks, ischemic strokes.
• Alcohol prevents the chances of breast cancer by over forty percent. In the case of patients with the pre-existing condition, moderate alcohol consumption can help in fighting the condition.
• Alcohol consumption within limits is known to boost the ability of brain through focus and clear though process. Apart from acting as a brain booster, alcohol also helps in prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
• Alcohol also helps greatly in improving libido and preventing erectile dysfunction.
• Alcohol helps in cutting the risk of type II diabetes, by maintaining appropriate levels of glucose within the blood stream.
• Common cold attack is reduced by almost sixty percent, with regular and moderate consumption of alcohol. But it works well only for non-smokers.
• Development and growth of gall bladder stones can be prevented greatly by alcohol.
Just as moderate consumption of alcohol has its benefits, heavy drinking also has its bad effects.
The dangers that excessive alcohol intake can invite upon are:
• Cancer of mouth, esophagus, pharynx and colon.
• Liver damage
• Dull and dry skin
Looking at above points one can easily conclude that alcohol can, not only boost our health but also pose a risk to our health. But, whether alcohol it can prove to be a boon or a curse, is all in the hands of the person who consumes it.