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Alcohol - Benefits and Harms - Slideshow

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Alcohol

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Alcohol, Alcohol - Benefits and Harms
» Any drink that contains ethanol is called an alcoholic beverage.

» Alcoholic beverages are classified into three types - distilled spirits, beers and wines.

» Alcohol has, for long, played an essential role in social interaction.

» But it is also known for its negative effects, most importantly for addiction.

» So, is alcohol good or bad?

Cheers to Health - Alcohol Benefit

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Cheers to Health - Alcohol Benefit, Alcohol - Benefits and Harms
» Several research studies have linked moderate drinking to reduced risk of heart disease.

» Longevity is improved in moderate drinkers than in heavy or non-drinkers.

» Instances of stroke, hypertension, Alzheimer’s, artery disease and even the common cold seem lesser in moderate drinkers.

Alcohol Benefits

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Alcohol Benefits, Alcohol - Benefits and Harms
Reports have suggested that sensible drinking helps prevent or lessen the impact of diseases like

» Digestive disorders, depression, duodenal ulcer, pancreatic cancer

» Hearing and memory loss, gallstones, erectile dysfunction

» Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoporosis

Alcohol Benefits

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Alcohol Benefits, Alcohol - Benefits and Harms
» Lesser cases of hospitalization and general disability were reported among moderate drinkers.

» Risk of death after a heart attack seems reduced in sensible drinkers.

» Cholesterol levels are lower because alcohol raises HDL (good) cholesterol.

Alcohol Disadvantage

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Alcohol Disadvantage, Alcohol - Benefits and Harms
» Alcohol also has a terrible downside.

» Women, especially, suffer the more acute complications such as higher risk of liver disease and breast cancer than men.

» Definition of 'moderate drinking' is also disputed - it may mean drinks daily/weekly/at parties for different people.

Harmful effects

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Harmful effects, Alcohol - Benefits and Harms
» Alcohol is a psychoactive drug and is known for its depressant effect.

» High intake of alcohol raises blood alcohol level - causing drunkenness.

» Drunken state slows reaction speed and reduces alertness.

Alcoholism

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Alcoholism, Alcohol - Benefits and Harms
» Alcohol is addictive.

» Alcoholism/Alcohol abuse causes nerve disorders, muscle cramps, speeds up ageing, osteoporosis, appetite loss and depression

» A mental 'dependency' is also created, where individuals find it to difficult to function without alcohol ' as seen in other addictive behaviors.

Harmful effects

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Harmful effects, Alcohol - Benefits and Harms
» Binge drinking can lead to atrial fibrillation, which increases risk of blood clots and stroke.

» Chronic increase in blood pressure has been noted, even in moderate drinkers.

» The liver takes time to process alcohol - hence, an excess of blood alcohol level can overwork the liver and cause long-term difficulties.

» Alcohol can cause serious complications in individuals suffering from certain diseases like hepatitis C, pancreatic disease, hemorrhagic stroke etc

Social Impact

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Social Impact, Alcohol - Benefits and Harms
» Alcohol abuse also has a negative impact.

» Alcoholism has been the root cause for several broken relationships, dysfunctional families, lost jobs, crimes, fatal road accidents and social isolation.

Is Alcohol Good or Bad?

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Is Alcohol Good or Bad?, Alcohol - Benefits and Harms
» The benefits of alcohol mentioned here most apply to men over 40 years and women post menopause. So it's no excuse for binge drinking at young ages.

» Studies haven't been able to bring a balance between alcohol's benefits vis-a-vis its harms; so even moderate drinking is currently not advisable.

» As Dr. M. Robertson once said, "If half the pubs and bottle stores were closed, I guarantee that half the hospitals and jails will remain closed."

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