I often have 2 glasses of wine with dinner or before bed. A friend tells me this can damage the liver if taken every night. I thought this was harmless and I find it relaxing. Is there any harm to the liver in dring a couple of glasses of wine? How much would be considered safe? Thank you for your response.
Several studies have confirmed that drinking alcohol for long periods of time can lead to cirrhosis of the liver. The minimum amount of alcohol intake assoicated with an increased risk of developing alcoholic liver disease ranges from 40-80 grams per day for 10-12 years. It is also accepted that women develop more severe alcoholic liver disease more quickly and at lower doses than men do. In men the generally accepted hazardous level is 80 grams per day, but for women the hazardous level seems to be about 60 grams per day. Since studies have shown that the majority of individuals developing alcoholic liver disease ingested more than 35 units of alcohol per week (one unit of alcohol= 1 ounce of spirits, 12 ounces of beer or 4 ounces of wine), 21 units of alcohol per week in men and 14 units in women has been suggested as a safe limit of alcohol intake. However, a recent study demonstrated liver toxicity in women with consumption of more than 7 units of alcohol per week. The increased susceptibility to liver injury in women may be secondary to differences in the metabolism (breakdown) of alcohol in the body. It is also important to note that in patients with other concomitant liver diseases such as hepatitis C viral infection or hemochromatosis continued alcohol use will accelerate liver damage. In those patients total alcohol abstinence is recommended. You must realize that these amounts are only guidelines based on the data from previous studies. This range is not an absolute number. There may be cases of alcoholic liver disease at a lower amount of alcohol consumption. I hope you find this information helpful.
This response is being provided for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation. Always check with your personal physician when you have a question pertaining to your health.
: If you would like to be seen at our institution please call 1-800-653-6568, our Referring Physicians' Office and make an appointment to see Dr. Muszkat, one of our experts in Gastroenterology.
: *Keywords: alcoholic liver disease
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. MedHelp is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.