During the pandemic, the percentage of drinkers worldwide has significantly increased due to people staying at home. However, excessive alcohol intake has adverse effects on health. 

Adverse Effects of Alcohol on the Body

Excessive alcohol intake has the following negative effects on health, including:

  • Weakening the immune system, making it easier to get sick;
  • Being Carcinogenic;
  • Reducing the absorption of important vitamins A, B, D, and E;
  • Causing malnutrition and alterations in body weight as it makes it difficult to metabolize calories;
  • Worsening sexual performance and causing infertility;
  • Being dangerous in pregnancy and potentially creating serious problems for the fetus;
  • Interfering with medications;
  • Altering cognitive function and reducing reaction time.

Major Diseases Caused by Alcohol

Alcohol consumption is responsible for numerous diseases, and the likelihood of occurrence is closely related to the amount of alcohol consumed. The most common diseases caused by alcohol include:

  • Cirrhosis: lifelong drinkers of a certain amount of wine per day (equivalent to 3-4 glasses) are twice as likely to become ill;
  • Stroke, thrombosis, and other vascular diseases: the risk is 20% higher;
  • Breast cancer: the risk is 10-20% higher;
  • Esophageal cancer: the risk is 10% higher;
  • Liver cancer: the risk is 14-20% higher;
  • Pancreatitis;
  • Alcohol addiction;
  • Brain damage.

Who Is an At-Risk Drinker?

According to the World Health Organization, a daily alcohol consumption that exceeds 20 grams for women (about two drinks) and 40 grams for men (about 3-4 drinks) is considered “risky” if a standard drink contains about 10-12 grams of alcohol. 

Episodic excessive alcohol consumption (called Binge Drinking) is also considered risky if 60 grams or more of alcohol is consumed on a single occasion (about 5 drinks). Physicians explain that at any level of alcohol consumption, women appear to be at increased risk of chronic alcohol-related harm.

When Is Alcohol Consumption Risk-Free?

Alcohol consumption is never risk-free. The level of alcohol consumption with the lowest mortality risk is zero or close to zero grams for women younger than 65 years and less than 5 grams per day (about half a glass) for women older than 65 years. 

For men, levels of alcohol consumption that minimize the risk of alcohol-related mortality are:

  • Zero grams under age 35.
  • Around 5 grams per day (about half a glass) for middle-aged men.
  • Less than 10 grams per day (less than a glass) for men over 65.

Reducing Alcohol Consumption Improves Health

Decreasing or eliminating alcohol always produces beneficial effects on health. Some of the harm caused by alcohol is immediately reversible. Young people who dramatically decrease their alcohol consumption at the threshold of adulthood reduce their risk of developing alcohol-related disorders.