What is the impact of alcohol on cardiovascular diseases?
When alcohol is consumed in excess, it will have an adverse effect not only on the bloodstream, but also on the body as a whole.
What can be the consequences of excessive alcohol consumption?
Scientists have no doubt that alcohol has an adverse effect on the pancreas and liver, as well as on the nervous system. It leads to chronic pancreatitis, cirrhosis, duodenitis, gastric mucosal problems, gallstones and even kidney failure. It is also a risk factor for pancreatic and liver cancer, but it is also associated with cancer of the larynx, throat, esophagus, lungs and breast. Because it leads to accelerated degeneration of nerve cells, it can lead to both dementia and epilepsy, as well as cognitive impairment. It is also a factor leading to a higher frequency of injuries and accidents. Consuming it can also threaten an addiction, which is very difficult to fight.
Alcohol and the cardiovascular system
Many studies conducted so far have aimed to answer the question of the impact of alcohol consumption on the cardiovascular system. Today, therefore, we have no doubt that alcohol is a predisposition to problems with hypertension. It can also lead to arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation and circulatory failure. If consumed in large quantities, it leads to an increase in blood levels of the so-called "bad cholesterol". It can also cause hemorrhagic stroke. If alcohol is used in combination with cardiovascular drugs, it affects their performance. What is characteristic, it can both weaken and strengthen them. In both cases, this leads to serious difficulties during treatment.
Is alcohol always harmful?
Analysing the results of scientific research, it can be observed that moderate alcohol consumption may have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. This is particularly true when analysing the susceptibility of patients to ischemic heart disease, heart attack and the aforementioned ischemic stroke. More and more often it is also pointed out that limited doses of alcohol may slow down the rate at which type 2 diabetes develops, while increasing the concentration of "good cholesterol" in the blood. Of course, before we start to refer to the results of these studies, we need to answer the question of how much alcohol can be considered moderate. It is assumed that for men it is one to three units of alcohol per day, whereas for women it is one to two units. The definition of a unit of alcohol can be quite complex. When it comes to beer, it's 250 millilitres. One unit of alcohol is also one glass of wine and one glass of vodka.
Alcohol - WHO position
Very often we hear that wine is the alcohol that has the most beneficial effect on health. It is worth remembering, however, that there are no research results that would clearly indicate this. The World Health Organization and scientific societies from all over the world (including cardiologists) warn against excessive use of alcohol, recommending above all abstinence as a way of protecting health. So if we deal with a person who does not drink, we should not encourage him/her to use alcohol in order to increase his/her resistance to illnesses of the cardiovascular system.