Question: I have a lot of friends that drink. I am looking for a good explanation on why alcohol is good/bad for you. S.T.
Answer: The mere fact that you are asking about alcohol consumption shows me that your “gut feeling” tells you that alcohol may not work for you, or a member of your family, or your friends.
1) Not every one tolerates alcohol the same.
Women, in particular, have a considerably lower alcohol tolerance (i.e. on average one glass of wine is the maximum for women vs. two for men).
Smaller built individuals as well as the young and the elderly also appear to have a lower tolerance for alcohol.
2) All alcohols turn to sugar (alcohol itself IS a sugar). – It’s not about the juice you drink with it!
Alcohol % proof directly refers to the drink’s sugar content.
The amount of sugar (or carbohydrates) the body needs to be converted into energy with the help of insulin must come from food not alcohol.
3) Excess sugar in the body causes inflammation and, thus, disturbs the body’s calcium metabolism (calcium leaching from bones to buffer the body’s pH value).
In addition, all sugars (including alcohol) nourish cancer cells, yeast cells, etc.
4) Individuals with a history of heart burn, midriff (liver or pancreas) or gut problems and those with a family history of high cholesterol or triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, etc. should stay away from ALL alcohols.
Due to its gluten content from malt (barley) beer primarily affects the gut by causing intestinal inflammation (bloating) and prompting the duodenum to slow down the digestive metabolism.
Beer also taxes the pancreas (insulin production) and stresses the liver.
A healthy liver is able to regulate the blood sugar (BS). However, the alcohol-triggered blood sugar roller coaster forces the liver to produce glycogen (a natural form of sugar) leading to insulin resistance.
The proverbial beer belly is the first visual sign of starting insulin resistance and an increased future risk of diabetes, heart or kidney disease!
Liquors / Hard Alcohols:
Booze directly affects the liver and, over time, may lead to serious liver disease, hepatitis, etc. in addition to paving the way to blood sugar fluctuations, high blood pressure and artery or heart disease.
Many spirits are made from grain and thus may want to be avoided by individuals who are gluten-intolerant.
The only alcoholic beverage that shows some positive results in medical research in certain individuals is one glass of preservative- and sulfate-free red wine as consumed by the French and Italians daily and WITH food.
Higher levels of resveratrol (a high antioxidant) build up over time. However, the European lifestyle is totally different from ours here as well.
Other than the conditions mentioned above, you also might want to avoid alcohol if you experience many other problems including acne, allergies, immune deficiency syndromes, decreased libido or infertility; for women also painful menses or polycystic ovaries and for men erectile dysfunction.
Only you can make the decision about what will work best for you and your digestive system. Raising relevant questions is important. Have your doctor help you make your decision or consult with a qualified natural medicine professional before you decide on your customized plan of action.