Alcohol affects every cell and system in our body. Unsurprisingly this has an impact on our health, but as long as we mange our alcohol intake it’s not all bad news.
Benefits of alcohol
– Red wine can be good for some of us
Small amounts of red wine (no more than one alcohol unit) can be beneficial for those who are at risk of heart disease. But only if you a post-menopausal women or a man aged over 40. In fact, those people who fall into that group and drink a small glass of 12% wine a day have a lower risk of heart attack, chronic heart trouble and sudden coronary death than those drinking more or those who do not drink at all.
However, exceeding this level of alcohol intake may actually raise your blood pressure and cause additional health problems such as a stroke.
– be careful not to become dependent
At low concentrations of blood alcohol levels, alcohol can temporarily result in lower blood pressure in some people. It is also associated with mild disinhibition and mild feelings of ‘euphoria’.
Increased disinhibition due to higher concentrations of blood alcohol can result in emotions becoming difficult to regulate and lead to feelings of distress.
The habitual use of alcohol to ‘relax’ and manage low moods, anxiety and stress can lead to a psycho-behavioural pattern - get more information on dependence and addiction.
Negative health impacts
For more information on the negative health impacts of alcohol, including cancer, liver cirrhosis and strokes, please see our short-term and long-term effects of alcohol information.
next...Dependence & addiction