Alcohol intake has two sides of beneficial and detrimental effects depending on the amount consumed. The following are quick nutritional facts that you shouldn’t miss!
- Moderate intake of alcohol has been linked to reduced risk of heart diseases and other chronic conditions (Recommendation is 2 standard drink for men and 1 standard drink for women per day)
- Alcohol does not require digestion. Unlike your fried rice, chicken, bolognese, garri or any other foods, alcohol moves through the stomach, intestines and straight to
liver where it is used as energy
- It is termed an empty calorie. 1 bottle of lager beer gives 152kcal and 1 bottle of stout gives 181kcal but that’s all it gives, it has no other nutrients which is reason for the name ’empty calorie’
- When alcohol is taken on empty stomach, it is quickly absorbed across the walls of an empty stomach, intestine and reaches the brain in few minutes which gives a euphoric feeling
- When taken with food, alcohol has less chance of touching the walls of the stomach and diffusing through, so its influence on the brain is slightly delayed.
- Beer in particular causes over-secretion of gastric acid in the stomach putting chronic drinkers at risk of gastric ulcer
- Alcohol cannot be stored in the body, and it is potentially toxic which makes excessive intake very dangerous
- Your liver can only process o.5 ounce of pure alcohol per hour, this is the amount found in you 1 bottle of beer, 150ml of red wine and 44ml of scotch, whiskey and rum
- Alcohol metabolism can also permanently change liver cell structure, impairing the liver’s ability to use fats. As a result, heavy drinkers develop fatty livers which if not properly managed can lead to cirrhosis, the end stage of liver damage
- Alcohol alters the way protein and other nutrients are being used in the body leading to nutrients deficiencies and consequently low immune system. This weakens the body’s defenses against infections
- Like liver cells, brain cells die with excessive exposure to alcohol which results in permanent brain damage in heavy drinkers.
- Chronic alcohol abuse can also lead to B vitamin-thiamin deficiency resulting in Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome; A condition characterized by paralysis of the eye muscles, poor
muscle coordination, impaired memory, and damaged nerves.
What a Standard Drink of Alcohol really means:
- 12 ounces (oz.) of beer (5 percent alcohol)
- 8 to 9 oz. of malt beer (7 percent alcohol)
- 5 oz. of wine (12 percent alcohol)
- 1.5 oz. of distilled spirits (40 percent alcohol)
Don’t take alcohol at all (not even in moderation) if you are;
- On Medications
- Have existing Heart failure or Stroke
- Have existing Liver diseases
- Have a family history of Alcoholism
Excess alcohol intake can lead to damaging consequences. Stick to the recommended intake if you must drink alcohol especially in social gathering. Avoid taking alcohol if you have preexisting medical conditions.