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Advantages and damage to alcohol: new discoveries, old facts

Frame from "The Great Gatsby"

Disputes about alcohol now and then flare up with new strength. Some researchers say they belong to the list of the most powerful drugs; others say that at moderate doses alcohol can be beneficial to health. Who is right? We understand our material.

Drunkenness can change DNA

Excessive drinking can cause changes at the DNA level, resulting in an even greater burden on alcohol – a conclusion reached by researchers at Rutgers and Yale (USA). They compared three groups of people: the first drank slightly, the other drank more, the third were alcoholics.

As a result of the experiment, it has been shown that, in the last two cases, patients have undergone gene modification (scientifically, methylation). Scientists believe their work will shed light on the problem of alcohol dependence and help people in the risk zone not to become alcoholics.

Hangover cannot be avoided by increasing the degree

It is believed that "raising the degree" helps alleviate the condition of the day after the holiday.

Many ordinary people believe that if you drink alcohol in a certain order, then they will go through the fate of a hangover. British scientists have proved it a myth.

For the experiment, they invited 90 volunteers between 19 and 40 years of age and spent two days in the bar with them to watch their regrets.

The participants were divided into three groups: the first to drink beer after wine, the other to drink beer and the third – only one of the drinks; the next morning they described their condition. It turns out there is no difference in what drinks and in what order. The severity of the hangover depended on how drunk the person was during the holiday, and how often the drink was concerned about the day of the experiment.


Alcohol is the cause of most Russian men's death.

According to Veronika Skvortsová, the Minister of Health of the Russian Federation, the mortality rate of Russian men of working age today is 720 cases per 100,000.

In 70% of cases, male mortality is associated with alcohol, which is not only acute poisoning, but also the consequences of long drinking: cirrhosis, liver cancer, atherosclerosis, pancreatic necrosis, and peptic ulcer. According to Skvortsova, people's health depends primarily on their way of life, and the state should therefore develop healthy lifestyle programs.

Young people lead the group's alcoholic risk

Age is the main factor determining the benefits and damages of drinking. A group of scientists from the US, Australia, Canada, and the UK came to this conclusion. According to their research, among people aged 20 to 49, the number of inanimate years was 59% due to alcohol and 15% in the group over 65. This means that young people are at higher risk of drinking deaths than older people.

In this case, the statistical benefits of mild alcohol consumption fall within the proportion of the adult generation. Although it is worth remembering that people over 50 are usually chosen to participate in these studies, those who have died as a result of alcohol use are not counted. And among the survivors, those likely to be healthier are likely to have said it, scientists said.

Frame from "Big Lebowski"

Safe brother of alcohol

British psychiatrist David Nutt, who wanted to save people from the horrors of hangover, created Alcarelle – a drink that, like alcohol, makes you feel relaxed and high in mood, but does not lead to loss of self-control, morning sickness and complications like cirrhosis. 45 minutes after use, one becomes sober and can do business again.

Interestingly, Natt has in the past led the British government's government drug policy. But in 2009 he lost this post after publishing an article in which he argued that alcohol is more dangerous than many drugs. Now the miracle drink is being tested. The inventor hopes that in five years, Alcarelle will be sold in all bars, and by 2050 he will stop buying the alcohol completely because of safe substitutes.

How many cigarettes are there?

Alcohol and cigarette smoke are carcinogens, but more dangerous? Specialists from University Hospital Southampton and the University of Bangor have decided to compare the risks of cancer with drinking and smoking. To do this, they compared the different volumes of alcohol consumed with the number of smoked cigarettes.

One bottle of wine turned out to be five cigarettes a week for men and ten for women.

According to their research, scientists pay attention to the fact that even a small amount of alcohol increases the risk of cancer. For example, the probability of developing a cancer in a non-smoking man as a result of one bottle of wine per week is 1%, and in a non-smoking woman 1.4%. Three bottles increase the risk to 1.9%, respectively. 3.6%.

Image from the Black Bookstore series

Slight insults, contrary to popular belief, do not reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack – this has recently been made by scientists.

Alcohol thirst depends on genetics

Domestic drunkenness and alcoholism are not the same: first, unlike the other, is not a disease; however, one often leads to another. Researchers at the Yale Medical School and the University of Pennsylvania (USA) analyzed the genetic data of 275,000 people of different ethnicities and compared them to the level of alcohol consumption.

They have identified 18 genetic variants associated with either drunkenness or alcoholism, or both.

To become an alcoholic, it has been shown to be a drinker of certain mutations in the "genes of alcoholism". Interestingly, people with a genetic tendency to heavy drinking have a higher level of education, lower risk of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes – and generally better basic health than patients with "alcohol dependence genes".

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However, the matter is not only in genes. The risk of becoming a drunk or an alcoholic is 50% dependent on genes and another 50% depends on education, the environment and lifestyle.

Long-acting poison

It is known that alcohol destroys nerve cells. And if you stop drinking – will this destruction stop immediately? Unfortunately, no. Degeneration lasts at least six weeks and maybe much longer. This conclusion was made by scientists from Spain, Germany and Italy.

They investigated the MRI of 90 men who were hospitalized for alcohol overdose and found that degenerative changes in the patients' brain continued, although they had not consumed one drop of alcohol for several weeks.

According to the results of a rat experiment, it was evident that the two parts of the brain suffered most from the brain: the corpus callosum (joining large hemispheres) and the hippocampus, which is responsible for the formation of emotions, training, and long-term memory functioning.

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