It is easy to write an article about how moderate drinking is fine, or how we should introduce our children to alcohol carefully, or that alcohol is somehow good for your heart. However the truth is not a pretty picture at all and we need to talk about it. The incredible increase in harm from alcohol across the world over the last 20 years is so catastrophic that WHO has passed multiple resolutions to try to bring awareness to the genuine problem (for example, the 2010 World Health Assembly’s Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol). Most governments shy away from the problem, as they once did with cigarette smoking.
Alcohol causes disease, suffering and early preventable death
Alcohol causes high blood pressure (hypertension), breast and bowel cancers, chronic liver diseases, obesity, diabetes, arthritic problems, poor judgment, emotional outbursts, violence, dizziness, depression, cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver tissues, bad skin, weakened kidneys and adrenal glands, varicose veins, memory loss, headaches, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, gastritis, ulcers, teenage pregnancy, suicide, weight gain, alcohol poisoning, abdominal pain, fetal alcohol syndrome, and heart disease — which itself is one of the top two preventable killers in the West.1-6
“We are probably at the stage now with alcohol that we were at 30 years ago with tobacco”
Dr Jan Pearson, Cancer Society, New Zealand
A poisonous neurotoxin
Alcohol is a neurotoxin that can poison your brain and disrupt your hormonal balance. Heavy drinkers face much higher risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver and cancer of the mouth, colon, pancreas, lungs, larynx, oesophagus and liver. This is not even taking into account the fact that alcohol is extremely acidic and causes deficiencies of all the major vitamins, minerals, hydrochloric acid, digestive enzymes and essential fatty acids.
Alcohol kills someone every ten seconds
By the time you have read this paragraph, another two or three people have died. It is getting worse daily, all over the globe.
- Alcohol is the number one global cause of death for men aged 15–241-6
- Alcohol is the number one cause of death in Eastern Europe, most of Latin America and southern sub-Saharan Africa
- Alcohol is the prime driver in liver disease, liver cancer and cirrhosis deaths
- Alcohol causes around 13% of all cancer deaths
- Alcohol causes at least one in 20 deaths globally every year1-6
The main problem with alcohol and human DNA is ethanol oxidation, giving us the toxic metabolite by-product, acetaldehyde. Alcohol delivers ethanol, acetaldehyde, free radicals and peroxides to the body via the bloodstream. British scientists have confirmed that alcohol does more damage to society than any other drug — legal or illegal. The scientists rated alcohol the most harmful overall and almost three times as harmful as cocaine.7
Written by Jason Shon Bennett from ExceptionalHealth.com ® & ©.
- The 2010-2015 Global Burden of Disease Study, The Lancet, and the ‘2010 Heart and Stroke Statistics’ report published by the American Heart Association and the WHO.
- Meta-analysis by Melanie Nichols and colleagues, of the BHF Health Promotion Research Group, Department of Public Health, Oxford University. British Medical Journal, 2012.
- Study by WHO, ‘Global health risks: Mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks.’ 2013.
- Cherpitel, C.J., ‘Focus on: The burden of alcohol use — trauma and emergency outcomes.’ Alcohol Research: Current Reviews, 2013, 35(2):150–154.
- Borges, G., Cherpitel, C.J., Orozco, R., et al., ‘Multicentre study of acute alcohol use and non-fatal injuries: Data from the WHO collaborative study on alcohol and injuries.’ Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 2006, 84(6):453–460.
- Cherpitel, C.J., Ye, Y., and Bond, J., ‘Alcohol and injury: Multi-level analysis from the Emergency Room Collaborative Alcohol Analysis Project (ERCAAP).’ Alcohol and Alcoholism, 2004, 39(6):552–558. PMID: 15351747.
- Professor David Nutt, Chairman of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs. The Lancet, 2010.