How much alcohol can I drink without harming my health?

Alcohol is considered a toxic product for our body. The recommendation of the World Health Organization is still valid: the less alcohol, the better.

Only very low consumption, around a glass of red wine at meals, have proven beneficial for cardiovascular health in general.

Drinking alcohol on a regular and daily basis above this recommendation can cause health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia, stomach ulcers, alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, etc.

An easy way to know what the recommended amount of daily alcohol is to divide the drinks into basic units. Thus, a beer or a glass of wine or cava would correspond to a UBE (Standard Beverage Unit), equivalent to 10g of pure alcohol (corresponding to a cane or a small glass of wine, while a consumption of distillates (whiskey, brandy, gin…) would correspond to two UBE The reasonable daily consumption limits would be less than four UBES for men and two UBES for women.

Alcoholism or alcohol dependence is a more severe pattern of consumption that includes the problems of alcohol abuse, as well as intoxicating beverages, despite the obvious physical, mental and social problems caused by alcohol. Typically, loss of control is also observed: not being able to stop drinking once it starts; withdrawal symptoms (symptoms related to stop drinking, such as nausea, sweating, trembling and anxiety), and lack of tolerance (needing increasing amounts of alcohol to feel drunk). In recent years they have occurred, among young people Spanish, changes in alcohol consumption patterns that reflect the profound transformations suffered by Spanish society in relation to the world of drugs and substances of abuse. At the epidemiological level, alcohol is the substance most consumed by adolescents and young people. Alcohol has become a basic element of youth culture and leisure.

The factors that have contributed most to the generalization of alcohol consumption is the existence of a great social tolerance and the low perception of the risk associated with the intake of alcoholic beverages.

Dr. Joseph Perez. Clinical Hospital of Z Rehab Center

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