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Three Health Benefits of Not Drinking Alcohol

Three Health Benefits of Not Drinking Alcohol

Out of the approximately 7 billion people living in the world, nearly 2 billion people consume alcoholic drinks! This means more than 1 in 4 persons are consumers of alcoholic beverages. While this number is good for the financial health of companies in the alcohol business, it does not translate to good health for the consumers of their products. In the words of James C. Garbutt, MD, a researcher at the University of North Carolina Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, “Alcohol is a pretty complicated little molecule; it does all kind of things to the body, and we are not fully aware of all its effect.”

Researchers have linked alcohol intake to more than 60 diseases, including liver cirrhosis, anemia, dementia, cancer, depression, myocardial infarction, stroke, high blood pressure, and pancreatitis. Are you a person still having a hard time making up your mind about quitting alcohol? Here are some amazing things that happen when people finally decide to stop drinking alcohol:

1) Longer Life

Non-consumers of alcohol are likely to live longer than chronic drinkers of alcohol. In 2012, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported 3.3 million people worldwide and 88,000 persons in the United States died from alcohol-related causes. Alcohol is the fourth leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States. This data suggests that alcohol consumption is associated with increased mortality risk.

2) Better Cardiovascular Health

Regular consumption of alcoholic beverages elevates the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, according to a recent study published in the Journal of American Heart Association. In this study, researchers examined data on the alcohol intake and arterial stiffness, (a risk factor for cardiovascular disease) of 3,869 volunteers. They observed that subjects who consumed the most alcohol had harder arteries than those who rarely drank or totally avoided alcohol. The findings of this study reveal that chronic alcohol drinkers are more prone to develop cardiovascular disease than those that rarely consume and non-drinkers of alcholol.

3) Lower Cancer Risk

Acetaldehyde is a potent carcinogen. Alcohol is converted to acetaldehyde in the human body. Thus, the consumption of alcohol exposes our body cells to this carcinogenic compound and increases our susceptibility to cancer. The findings of a study conducted by researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) show that alcohol intake accelerates the development and growth of cancerous cells and tumors in the mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, colon, rectum, liver, and breast.

There are additional reasons to stop the intake of alcoholic beverages that will be covered in future blogs. 

Additional Information: 

(1) A pooled analysis of alcohol intake and colorectal cancer

(2) Alcohol Article by the World Health Organization

(3) Twenty‐Five‐Year Alcohol Consumption Trajectories and Their Association With Arterial Aging

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