Page 20 - Senior Times South Central Michigan July 2020 - 27-07
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Page 20 Senior Times - July 2020
 IMMUNE SYSTEM RESPONSE CHALLENGED BY ALCOHOL
By: Sherii Sherban, Publisher
  Observationally, the COVID-19 Stay At Home order has led to a significant increase in alcohol consumption. The market research firm Nielsen agrees. Their research indicates that the COVID-19 quarantine has caused a serious spike in alcohol sales and people are imbibing more than usual.
 While alcohol, such as red wine, has shown to have positive benefits in moderate amounts you might not know that it can also have a neg- ative impact on the immune system. Especially during this time of wanting to have our immune system operating at the greatest capacity, alco- hol might just be one of those pleasures you might want to slow down on.
The CDC Dietary Guidelines for Americans defines moderate drinking as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men. In addition, the Dietary Guidelines do not recommend that individuals who do not drink alcohol start drinking for any reason.
harmful health conditions. These acute risks are most often the result of binge drinking and may include injuries, such as motor vehicle crashes, falls, drownings, and burns; violence, including homicide, suicide, and sexual assault; alcohol poisoning; or other risky behaviors that can result in injury or sexually transmitted diseases.
Here is what she found:
Alcohol does affect your body. Prepare
 We all know that alcohol is not a health supplement. It prevents your immune system from functioning as it was designed in keep- ing invaders and infection at bay.
Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including high blood pres- sure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems; cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon; weakening of the immune system, increasing the chances of getting sick; learning and memory prob- lems, including dementia and poor school per- formance; mental health problems, including depression and anxiety; social problems; includ- ing lost productivity, family problems; and unemployment; as well as alcohol dependence, or alcoholism.
yourself because the full disclosure doesn’t paint a pretty picture. While the occasional drink can help you relax and makes social time more enjoyable, alcohol can also cause dehy- dration, deplete vitamins and nutrients, worsen sleep, cause inflammation and throw gut bacte- ria out of balance – all things that can weaken your body’s powers of immunity.
 What is a standard “drink?
Alcohol reprioritizes metabolism. When you throw one down the hatch, your body puts everything else on hold. Your body can’t store alcohol and wants it out pronto, so it drops what it’s doing and makes it the top priority for metabolism. That means alcohol cuts in line ahead of protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
In the United States, a standard drink contains 0.6 ounces (14.0 grams or 1.2 tablespoons) of pure alcohol.
Short-term and long-term effects of drinking may not just impact you, but those you come into contact with, including friends and loved ones.
Alcohol gets a VIP escort to your liver, because it’s your liver’s job to break it down and get it out. As the alcohol is processed, water and nutrients are used to flush it out, leaving your body depleted and dehydrated.
According to the CDC you can reduce the risk of these short- and long-term health risks by avoiding excessive drinking.
Excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of injury as well as other
Molly Apel, health writer, further explores the many ways that alcohol impacts the body.
Alcohol causes inflammation. Inflammation
There is 0.6 ounces of alcohol in each of these drinks.
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