Often, people drink to socialize, relax and celebrate which usually have a hard effect on people. There is one issue we have struggled to understand and manage which is the power of alcohol.
As historically and means of social engagement and bonding, moderate alcohol consumption may be pleasurable for many.
ORIGIN OF ALCOHOL
The origin of alcohol has been traced to a lot of space and time. For thousands of years fermented honey, fruit juice and grain have been used to make alcohol (ethyl alcohol or ethanol).
Fermented beverages was found in early Egyptian civilizations, China also had the evidence of early alcoholic drink around 7000BC.
Sura is the name given to an alcoholic beverage which was distilled from rice and in use between 3000 and 2000 BC
The Babylonians created a wine goddess and worshiped as early as 2700BC.
A fermented drink from water and honey was the first alcoholic beverages to gain popularity in Greece.
A lot of native civilized Americans developed alcoholic beverages in Columbian era made in varieties from the Andes region of South America which was extracted from corn, grapes or apples and called “Chicha”.
Alcohol called “spirits” was largely used for medicinal purposes in the sixteenth century. At the starts of eighteen century, a law encouraging distilling spirit by using grain.
Just after that, the market was flooded with cheap spirits and reached a high point in the mid-eighteenth century.
In Britain, alcoholism became widespread which justifies gin consumption reaching 18 million gallons.
In nineteenth century, promotion of moderate alcohol use temperance movement began which submitted for total prohibition.
In 1920, the manufacture, import, export and sales of intoxicating liquors law was passed.
Today, 15 million Americans is estimated to suffer from alcoholism and car accident death about 40% involve alcohol.
HOW DOES ALCOHOL GET YOU HIGH
Alcohol is rapidly absorbed from the small intestine and stomach into the blood stream.
When it gets there it depresses the central nervous system. After, it crosses the blood brain barrier and communicate with neurotransmitters in the central nervous system, “happiness chemicals” called serotonim and dopamine is stimulated to the brain and creates feelings of euphoria.
While alcohol is grouped as liquid that depresses the central nervous system,
it brings into activeness and suppresses several types of receptors. GABA which are the receptors that handle a neuro-transmitter is strongly activated by ethanol molecules sticking to them.
BENEFITS OF ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION
Moderate alcohol consumption has possible health benefit.
Any potential benefit of alcohol consumption are very small and may not be applicable to all individuals. As a matter of act dietary guidelines make it clear that no one should start consuming alcohol on the basis of potential health benefits.
Avoiding alcohol is the best course because for many people, the risks outweigh the possible benefits.
On the other hand, mayoclinic says if you are a light to moderate drinker and you are healthy, you can probably continue to drink alcohol as long as you do so responsibly.
WHAT DO WE CALL MODERATE
For healthy adult, moderate alcohol consumption generally means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men. Examples include:
- Beer (3-6%): 12 fluid ounces (355 millilitres).
- Wine (up to 12%): 5 fluid ounces (148 millilitres)
- Distilled spirit (40%): 1.5 fluid ounces (44 millilitres)
Moderate consumption may help in areas such as:
- Reducing your risk of developing and dying of heart disease.
- Possibly reducing your risk of ischemic stroke (when the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing severally reduced blood flow).
- Possibly reducing your risk of diabetes.
Note: Even moderate alcohol use isn’t risk-free.
RISK OF HEAVY ALCOHOL USE
When you as a woman or man age 65+ drinks more than three drinks on any day or more than 7 drinks a week, then it is heavy and more than 4 drinks on any day or more than 14 drinks a week for men age 65 and younger.
Excessive drinking can increase your risks of the following health problems.
- High blood pressure
- Liver disease
- Certain cancers, including breast cancer and cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and liver
- Sudden death if you already have cardiovascular disease
- Brain damage and other problems in an unborn child
CONDITIONS TO AVOID ALCOHOL
- You are trying to be pregnant or you are pregnant.
- You have liver or pancreatic disease
- You have heart failure or you have been told you have a weak heart.
- You take prescription or over-the-counter medications that can interact with alcohol.
- You have had a hemorrhagic stroke (when a blood vessel in your brain leaks or ruptures).
You are to decide either to drink alcohol or not after weighing the potentials health benefits and risks.