What are the benefits of moderate and heavy drinking?
There are no benefits to heavy drinking. It causes you to put on weight, lessens your mental focus, and makes you more likely to get cancer. It also boosts your odds of injury by accident or violence. One way or another, it plays a part in some 88,000 deaths a year in the U.S.
How many drinks per week make a woman a “heavy drinker?”
Toss back more than 3 drinks on any single day or more than 7 a week and you could be labeled a heavy drinker. The numbers for men are higher: 4 drinks a day or more than 14 per week. What’s a drink? Just 0.6 ounces of alcohol — roughly the amount in 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.
Risks of heavy drinking.
There’s a long list of bad things too much alcohol can do to your health. You could be more likely to get diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, and high blood pressure, or have a stroke. Quite a few types of cancer are tied to overdoing it as well. These include mouth, larynx, and esophageal cancers, breast cancer, plus cancers of the liver, gastrointestinal tract, and colon.
Heavy drinking can shrink your brain.
Long-term heavy drinking can shrink both the overall brain and the size of the brain’s cells. The result: problems with learning, memory and problem solving.The longer and harder you drink, the more likely you’ll have trouble with sleep, mood, and motor skills. If you avoid alcohol, you might reverse some of the damage.
A few drinks could be good for your heart.
There’s some evidence that a bit of alcohol could make you less likely to get heart disease. It’s possible that alcohol raises levels of “good” cholesterol. However, the key word here is “moderation.” Long-term heavy drinking weakens the heart muscle and can contribute to high blood pressure, stroke, and, heart failure.
Middle-aged and older drinkers will outlive their friends who don’t drink.
Doctors aren’t sure why, but once you hit middle age, there’s a link between an occasional drink and staying alive. It could be the protective effects of moderate drinking against heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Should you start drinking If It’s good for your heart?
If you don’t drink, keep it that way. Health benefits aside, even a small amount of alcohol can make you more likely to get a disease or have an accident.