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What is Alcohol?

Dr. Alisher Agzamov MD PhD

What is Alcohol?
Alcohol is a common term for ethanol, a compound produced when glucose is fermented by yeast.

What is Alcohol?
The alcohol content of a particular drink is controlled by the amount of yeast and length of fermentation.

What is Alcohol?
Fruit is used to make wine and cider, while cereals such as barley and rye form the basis of beer and spirits.

What is Alcohol?
Alcohol is a drug that has the immediate effect of altering mood.

What is Alcohol?
Drinking it makes people feel relaxed, happy and even euphoric, but in fact alcohol is a depressant.

What is Alcohol?
It switches off the part of the brain that controls judgement, leading to loss of inhibitions.

What is Alcohol?
Drinking even small amounts of alcohol can affect physical coordination.

What is Alcohol?
The liver breaks down and eliminates alcohol from the body. It takes the liver about one hour to deal with one unit of alcohol (8g).

Benefits of Alcohol
Alcohol consumed in moderation is thought to help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Benefits of Alcohol
Indeed, alcohol consumption in conjunction with high intakes of fruit and vegetables may well explain the so-called 'French paradox'.

Benefits of Alcohol
The French diet is considered to be very high in fat, especially saturated fat, yet the death rate from coronary heart disease (CHD) remains relatively low.

Benefits of Alcohol
A research study published in 1992 suggested that the low death rates from CHD could be due to the relatively high consumption of wine in France.

Benefits of Alcohol
A similar pattern of diet and alcohol consumption has also been found in other south European countries where heart disease rates are also lower compared with other parts of the world.

Benefits of Alcohol
These observations prompted a long series of research studies analysing the relationship between wine and CHD.

Benefits of Alcohol
It's still not entirely clear how alcohol reduces your risk of CHD, but it's now known a large proportion of the risk reduction is due to moderate alcohol intake raising 'good' cholesterol concentrations in the blood, so reducing the risk of blood clots.

Benefits of Alcohol
Red wine, in particular, also contains flavonoids that act as antioxidants, which help to reduce the build up of atherosclerosis (when fat builds up on the inner walls of arteries).

Benefits of Alcohol
Red wine seems to help maintain the flexibility of the blood vessel walls.

Risks of Alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol will not only leave you with a hangover the next day, but binge drinking and/or drinking more than the recommended intake on a regular basis can also cause long-term damage to the body's internal organs.

Risks of Alcohol
Chronic alcohol use is one of the major causes of liver cirrhosis (irreversible scarring of the liver).

Risks of Alcohol
This happens because healthy liver cells die and the dead cells are replaced by fibrous tissue.

Risks of Alcohol
The liver plays a central role in many essential body functions including the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, detoxification and excretion of waste products from the body.

Risks of Alcohol
Scarred tissue cannot function like healthy tissue so this condition can be life threatening if not treated early enough.

Stomach ulcers and gastrointestinal complications, as well as fertility problems, weight gain, and depletion of certain vitamins and minerals can all be caused by excessive alcohol consumption.

Risks of Alcohol

Risks of Alcohol
Binge drinking can also increase blood pressure, a risk factor for heart attacks.

Risks of Alcohol
A binge-drinking patterns in Europe at the weekends led to higher ABP levels, and A higher incidence of heart attacks on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Risks of Alcohol
ABP levels in US, UK, Ca, Ch, In, Ja, German and French drinkers were constant throughout the week, Reflecting their moderate drinking patterns.

Risks of Alcohol
A 2011 World Cancer Research Fund report showed alcohol increases the risk of cancers of the: Mouth, Pharynx, Larynx, Oesophagus, Colon (especially in men) and Breast.

Risks of Alcohol
If you're worried about the negative effects of alcohol, either on yourself or on behalf of someone else, Alcohol Concern offers an excellent service.

Recommended alcohol intake


Moderation is the key. The recommendation is no more than two to three units of alcohol a day for WOMEN;

Recommended alcohol intake


Three to four units for MEN; With at least two or three alcohol-free days each week.

What's a unit?
One unit is considered to be 8g of alcohol, or equivalent to:

What's a unit?
Half a pint of standard strength (3.5% AVB) beer, cider or lager;

What's a unit?
A pub measure of spirit: Half a standard glass (175ml) of wine; A pub measure of sherry, vermouth or liqueur;

What's a unit?
It's important to remember units differ according to the:

What's a unit?
Size of your drink - pubs often serve wine in different-sized glasses, and home measures of spirits are often more generous than a pub measure;

What's a unit?
Varying alcohol content of different Beers Wines Spirits

What's a unit?
The size and strength of your drink determines how many units of alcohol you consume.

What's a unit?
To calculate how many units you've consumed, establish the strength of the drink (% ABV) and amount of liquid in millilitres (one pint is 568ml; a standard glass of wine is 175ml).

What's a unit?
Multiply the amount of drink in millilitres by the percentage ABV, then divide by 1,000.

What's a unit?
For example, 175ml wine at 13% ABV: 175 X 13/1000 = 2.3 units

What's a unit?
To make matters easier, many manufacturers state how many units of alcohol each can or bottle contains.

Nutritional value of Alcohol


Each gram of alcohol contains 7 calories.

Nutritional value of Alcohol


If you're watching your waistline, cutting down on alcohol will help to reduce calorie intake.

Nutritional value of Alcohol


Alcohol can also weaken your willpower, tempting you to eat more than you planned.

Nutritional value of Alcohol


The energy provided by an alcoholic drink depends on the percentage of alcohol it contains, but also on the type of drink it is.

Nutritional value of Alcohol


For example, a creamy liqueur will have more calories than a clear liqueur. As a rough guide:

Nutritional value of Alcohol


A pint of continental lager is about 215 calories;

Nutritional value of Alcohol


A measure of spirit contains around 55 calories, but this doesn't include calories from the mixer - try to choose low-calorie options;

Nutritional value of Alcohol


A standard glass of dry white wine or Red wine is about 115 calories, and Sweet wine is about 165 calories;

Nutritional value of Alcohol


A creamy liqueur contains around 163 calories per 50ml serving;

Nutritional value of Alcohol


While the same amount of sherry or port contains around 60 calories a glass.