Drink harm body truth everyone knows, but there are always people holding the psychology of luck, that as long as less drink can be less harm. But new research claims there are three key periods in life when drinking is at its worst or most harmful.
A recent article in The BMJ further explores The health risks of alcohol from a life-cycle perspective. Experts from the University of New South Wales, the University of Sydney and King’s College London pointed out that the human brain goes through several dynamic periods throughout life, from fetal development to later life, with the impact of alcohol particularly prominent at three critical periods:
Gestation (from conception to birth) : The brain is characterized by neuronal proliferation, migration, and differentiation, as well as apoptosis.
Late adolescence (ages 15 to 19) : This period is characterized by synaptic pruning and increased axonal myelin formation.
Old age (65 and over) : period associated with brain atrophy. This change is accelerated after age 65, mainly due to a reduction in the size of neurons, as well as a reduction in the number of dendritic spines and synapses.
During these three periods, these changes in the neural circuitry may “increase sensitivity to the neurotoxic effects of alcohol.” As a result, some common drinking patterns can be harmful, including low levels of prenatal alcohol consumption, binge drinking in adolescents, and low to moderate levels of alcohol consumption in later life. The evidence shows that:
Heavy drinking during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, with extensive brain volume reduction and cognitive impairment. Moreover, even mild to moderate alcohol use during pregnancy was significantly associated with poor psychological and behavioral outcomes in offspring.
Heavy drinking during adolescence has been linked to reduced brain volume, reduced formation of white matter, which is essential for effective brain function, and a range of mild to moderate cognitive deficits.
In the elderly, alcohol impairment is one of the strongest modifiable risk factors for all types of dementia, especially early onset, compared with other established risk factors, such as high blood pressure and smoking. Even moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to be associated with small but significant reductions in brain volume in middle age, although further research is needed to see if these structural changes translate into dysfunction.
The authors stress that current trends may exacerbate the effects of alcohol consumption on brain health at the population level as a whole. For example, women are now drinking at a similar rate to men, and global alcohol consumption is expected to increase further over the next decade.
Therefore, it is essential to take comprehensive measures to reduce alcohol exposure in all age groups, which require “population-based interventions, such as guidelines to avoid drinking risks, alcohol pricing policies, coupled with the development of relevant training and care mechanisms”. By reducing the prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, abnormal neurocognitive development in adolescence and dementia later in life, life expectancy and quality of life can be extended.
Although drinking is not good for your health, there are many times in life when it is unavoidable to drink a small glass of wine. At this time, intelligent people will adopt effective methods to reduce the harm of drinking to a minimum.
First of all, drink moderately, don’t drink too much or get drunk. What is the right amount? Usually need to combine their weight, the general liver metabolism of alcohol is about 1 grams per kg of body weight, that is, about 50 kg of people to limit alcohol to 50 grams.
Secondly, avoid drinking in the morning and in the morning. During this period, the stomach has the lowest ability to break down alcohol and it is absorbed by the body. At this time, the blood alcohol concentration rises and damages the liver, brain and other organs the most.
Finally, it’s best to eat foods high in protein and vitamins before drinking, rather than foods high in nitrite, such as preserved foods and overnight vegetables. Avoid alcohol on an empty stomach, too.
• Drinking alcohol inhibits and poisons liver function in patients with hepatitis;
• Drinking alcohol dilates blood vessels and raises blood pressure, so it is not recommended for people with high blood pressure or heart disease;
• Alcohol can induce or aggravate the symptoms of hemorrhoids;
• People with myopia, glaucoma and other eye diseases should not drink alcohol;
• Patients with urinary calculi should avoid contact with beer to avoid promoting the formation of calculi;
• Alcohol consumption during pregnancy and lactation is detrimental to the baby’s health;
• Drinking alcohol can aggravate gout symptoms in patients with gout;
• Alcohol inhibits calcium and vitamin D intake. People with osteoporosis should not drink alcohol.
• Alcohol can irritate the gastrointestinal mucosa and aggravate the symptoms in patients with digestive diseases;
Generally speaking, there is no such thing as “moderate drinking is good for health”. We should recognize the disadvantages of drinking, especially those who drink a lot for a long time should take the initiative to stop drinking.