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Jeannette M. Gagan, PhD Jeannette M. Gagan, PhD
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Santa Fe , NM
Monday, June 17, 2019


Blog70BResearch published last year in The Lancet concluded that no amount of alcohol consumption is healthy. One concern, often overlooked, is the high caloric and sugar intake that comes with many alcoholic beverages. For example, craft beers often have more alcohol than traditional macro-beers. And more alcohol means more calories. Tequila, vodka, rum, and gin have zero grams of carbohydrates, so they don’t raise blood sugar, as long as you drink them straight up. If you have diabetes, you should count one drink as two fat exchanges.

However, perhaps of greater concern are the effects of being intoxicated—the number of fatal, alcohol-related vehicle accidents is staggering; the effects of parental alcoholism on children is disastrous, while families as a whole are traumatized; judgment is severely impaired; and feelings are numbed.

In addition to excessive sugar consumption, there are other consequences to one's health due to drinking. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much—on a single occasion or over time—can take a serious toll. Symptoms may include:

  • Blog70ACardiomyopathy—stretching and dropping of the heart muscle; irregular heart beat; stroke; high blood pressure.
  • Liver disease—fatty liver; hepatitis; fibrosis; cirrhosis.
  • Pancreatitis—a dangerous inflammation and swelling of blood vessels that prevents proper digestion.
  • Cancer—There is strong research evidence that the more alcohol a person drinks, the higher the risk of developing an alcohol-associated cancer. Data from 2009 estimated 3.5% of all cancer deaths in the United States (about 19,500) were alcohol related.

Having grown up in a family where alcohol was regularly consumed by a parent, as well as by an older sibling—although they didn’t seem to be “drunk,” so to speak—it was obvious to me that daily imbibing benefited no one. On one occasion when I was in college, at a celebratory event I drank too much and vomited, which taught me a lesson. After that incident, I would occasionally have a glass of wine with a meal. However, eventually I decided alcohol was not a healthy choice and did not drink it again—much to my benefit.

Dear reader, what has been your experience with alcohol—positive or negative? It would be much appreciated if you would share your experiences and the impact they had on your life. All comments are welcome!    

Santa Fe, NM
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