Effects Of Alcohol – Seven Things You Need To Bear In Mind

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 By: Eileen Gravelle

Most of us like an alcoholic drink now and then. You may enjoy wine with a lovely meal or a drink when you go out with friends. Alcohol is simply an enjoyable and harmless part of your normal life. 

The only problem is – as we grow older – alcohol affects us more. So, if you’re serious about slowing down the aging process, it’s important to understand just what effect alcohol is having on your body. Here’s a quick list of seven things you might want to bear in mind next time you pop that cork: 

1. Alcohol causes liver damage 

Most of us already know that this is one of the worst aspects of excessive drinking and can ultimately in extreme cases cause liver failure and death. Bear in mind that to your liver alcohol is a poison – the more you take in the harder it works to eliminate it. 

2. Drinking alcohol makes you more likely to develop osteoporosis 

This is one effect of alcohol not many people are aware of and it matters quite a lot – especially to women. Osteoporosis is one of the most aging conditions you can have and is most likely to affect women. Alcohol interferes with the absorption of calcium in your body and the more alcohol you drink now the more chance there is of developing brittle bones later in life. 

3. Alcohol ages your skin 

Not to be taken lightly this one. You may be prepared to cope with the health risks of alcohol but what about the aging effects of alcohol on your skin. Alcohol dilates the small blood vessels under the skin resulting in a flushed red-faced look and broken veins. And what’s more, because alcohol is dehydrating, your skin will also be more prone to premature wrinkling. 

4. Alcohol will pile on the pounds. 

Your favorite tipple is really just empty calories adding no food value to your daily diet. To get rid of the extra calories from one drink you need to walk a mile – consider that over your next glass of wine. Even worse – because alcohol has no nutritional value in itself drinking is likely to stimulate your appetite meaning you eat more than you need. 

5. Alcohol affects your brain 

In the short term that means all the symptoms of intoxication – how bad it gets depends on how much you drink and other factors like your size, how tired you are, when you drink and whether you eat as well. Getting mildly drunk may be a subject of fun and even enjoyable but long term we’re talking about the destruction of brain cells, memory loss and dementia – not so amusing. 

6. Alcohol affects women more than men 

The less you weigh the more likely you are to become drunk because heavier people have more blood and water in the body to dilute the alcohol. Also as alcohol is stored in fat and women tend to have more fat than men – it takes us much longer to eliminate the alcohol from our bodies. 

7. The effects of alcohol worsen with age 

From the age of 40 onwards we tend to store more fat so the time the body takes to process and eliminate alcohol increases. So if you feel that you can’t drink as much as you used to without feeling the effects – you’re right. 

If that all sounds like bad news on the alcohol front – consider the experience of the French. French people eat a diet that contains one of the highest levels of fat in the world and despite this they have a 42% less heart disease than Americans. 

They owe their increased resistance to heart disease largely due to wine consumption – although it is probably true that the healthier French diet has something to do with it. 

Scientists have linked the protective effects of wine to an organic compound known as ‘resveratrol’ that’s found in red wine. Californian red is among the wines