Drinking too much alcohol has always been seen as a bad thing. In fact, drinking can actually cause an early death. You need not even be a heavy drinker. Just one drink a day is sufficient to result in premature death for a regular person.
An early death
It is estimated that almost 30 percent of adults drink at least a glass of alcohol every day. And as per a study from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, this is a very risky habit. The researchers checked out around 600 studies regarding alcohol consumption among adults from about 195 countries. The studies ranged from 1990 to 2016.
The team found that alcohol was the cause of death or disability in 6.8 percent of men and 2.2 percent of women. Adults aged 50 years and younger were observed to have a higher propensity for alcohol consumption, and therefore a higher chance of disability or death.
The study contradicts all other reports till now that claimed that moderate alcohol consumption was good for health. In fact, the researchers found the opposite – that the risk of death from cancer and a host of other diseases is far higher among people who drink as compared to those who do not drink. However, moderate drinking was found to be protective against one specific medical condition — heart disease.
“The widely held view of the health benefits of alcohol needs revising, particularly as improved methods and analyses continue to show how much alcohol use contributes to global death and disability. Our results show that the safest level of drinking is none,” Marin Independent Journal quotes the study.
Negative effects of drinking
Alcohol consumption is linked to the onset of a variety of diseases. Among them, it is considered to be a major risk factor for the development of liver disease. Drinking too much alcohol on a regular basis will result in fatty liver and long-term inflammation. Scars can also form inside the liver, resulting in a condition known as cirrhosis. Eventually, the organ itself might fail.
Brain damage is another huge risk encountered by regular drinkers. Alcohol has the ability to depress the central nervous system, making the person incapable of solving even the simplest of problems. It also affects the GABA receptors and serotonin. This can cause a person to become less aware of the consequence of their actions, increasing risky behavior.
And since motor coordination is also impaired due to the effect of alcohol, people will be at higher risk of falling and injuring themselves. Those who consume alcohol while being less than 24 years of age also run the risk of brain damage since their brain is still in development.
There is also a possibility of immune system dysfunction. This can make the body seriously vulnerable to diseases like tuberculosis and pneumonia. Alcoholism can cause a decrease in white blood cell count, reducing the body’s ability to combat infections.
Finally, alcoholics who drink heavily have a higher tendency to suffer from vitamin deficiencies and malnourishment. This is likely due to the fact that people who drink typically follow a very poor diet. In addition, alcohol can also affect the production of red blood cells and result in iron deficiency.