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Avatar universal

does alcohol destroy the heart or help it?

I'm not sure if alcohol lengthens life span according to some studies, but it seems to cause heart damage and liver damage and brain damage and ear/hearing damage.


This discussion is related to Alcohol consumption.
15 Responses
11548417 tn?1506084164
The best-known positive effect of alcohol is a small increase in HDL cholesterol. Also alcohol may prevent platelets in the blood from sticking together. That may reduce clot formation and reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. So far for the positive effects

For the negative effects:
Drinking too much alcohol can raise the levels of some fats in the blood (triglycerides).
It can also lead to high blood pressure and heart failure
Due to the amount of calories in alcohol, an increased calorie intake can lead to obesity and a higher risk of developing diabetes.
Excessive drinking and binge drinking can lead to stroke. Other serious problems include fetal alcohol syndrome, cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death.

Avatar universal
To be honest i see alcohol as a chemical. In general chemicals are not great for us. Possibly a glass of red wine is suggested to be a positive. But lots of drink, several days a week, beer and spirits are not so good for you. There are also problems with alcohol and some heart meds. Best advice is stick to a cup of tea!
Avatar universal
"To be honest i see alcohol as a chemical. In general chemicals are not great for us"

Anything you can taste, touch, or smell is a chemical.  Water is a chemical composed of hydrogen and oxygen.  The alcohol in drinks is a chemical composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.  Rocks are made of chemicals, some of them quite poisonous; vegetables are made up of chemicals; teas are complicated chemicals made of hydrogen, oxygen, and a whole bunch of other chemicals, depending on the type of tea.

Even becoming a nutcase 'breatharian' and trying to survive without food would not help you avoid 'chemicals,' since air is a mix of chemicals, too.  
Avatar universal
As far as i know our body needs a little volume of alcohol but to much alcohol can be deadly.
1124887 tn?1313758491
Great answer :-)

Some tend to think that "if it's natural, it's healthy" and "if it's not natural, it's chemical, and unhealthy". As you say, everything is chemical. And water sounds a lot more scary to some people if you use the name "dihydrogen monoxide" - and trying to eat a 100% natural foxglove is not a good idea. It's not healthier to take morphine derived from the opium plant than the syntetic version - it's the same substance.

More on-topic:

I think common sense is important regarding alcohol. Although considered "binge drinking" by some, I don't think having a couple of beers with your friends on occation will kill you. After all, we are going to live while we are alive :-) Doing it every day is, of course, very bad.  

976897 tn?1379171202
actually I believe the opposite, any amount of alcohol is bad for you. From the moment any alcohol enters your mouth, all your body does ifight to flush it out. So we could and should label alcohol as poison. I've seen excuse after excuse about why we should be able to drink, including red wine having goodness from red grapes. No good research has found any such thing.
Avatar universal
A simple pubmed search using the terms "alcohol and the heart" will turn up a large number of peer-reviewed studies concluding that moderate consumption of alcolhol is associated with a *lower risk* of coronary heart disease, as well as a lowered risk for certain other bad diseases such as diabetes mellitus.  Here is a very recent paper:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24582196
976897 tn?1379171202
Although the report 'suggests' a drink a day may help, there simply is no way to prove it. To do a study like this, you need hundreds of families which are identical in such things as stress, sugar intake, exercise, diet etc which isn't really going to happen. Many people who are highly stressed have no idea that they are. It doesn't answer my questions either. If alcohol is good for you (one drink per day) then why does the liver work so hard in removing it? All alcohol does to living cells is damage them. I think the trouble is, the market for alcohol is so big now and to destroy it would have a huge impact on the economy.
Avatar universal
Hi there.I dont get your game? The question was posed about alcohol. I consider that I answered it in a reasonable manner. And I stick by the comment that its a chemical product. It sends people into a different place when they have a few drinks. They get drunk. Now the other chemical you try to compare it to, namely water ,has no such effect on humans. Unless of course you have some other answer thats far too clever and smart for someone like me on that topic? Maybe its just that you are smarter than most. Whatever. A question was asked,its  a question thats reasonable in the forum (Its a forum for Heart Disease remember) I also commented on alcohol, based on the forum that the question is being asked in. I am glad that people like ED 34 are being sensible on the topic.
Avatar universal
Just a note to say that all you need to do is google 'Is alcohol Toxic'
The answers speak for themselves. I spent ages looking for some clever answer on water, but it was not there as a toxic substance, anyway enough of this alcohol stuff, when a substantial number of the people here are suffering from various heart conditions, or maybe a family member is. I thought that was the idea behind this forum, of genuine people giving general advise, being helpful to one another etc. . .
Avatar universal
Two semesters--just two semesters--of biology, human physiology, and introductory chemistry at an affordable community college can do so much to help understand heart health.
Avatar universal
Maybe you should take yourself off to your community college so. I wonder do they do courses on manners too?
Avatar universal
They give classes in how to think, how to analyze information.  Can't do much to raise the natural intelligence quotient, though.
Avatar universal
Look,this a forum for people who have heart issues. Almost all the people on this forum are suffering or having some issue with their heart which concerns them,looking for information and to get help and advise where possible. Just in case you were not aware of it, thats what its about here. Its not about how smart or clever people may think they are,or how they would like to think they are.
Avatar universal
Really, a fight over what is the definition of "chemical"? You should change your mind about what that is. I looked, briefly, on the internet trying to find out whether your definition has any truth to it, but everybody agrees that e.g. water is a chemical.
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