12 Things You Did Not Know About Alcohol

Tough addiction

 
1.Try not to mix beverages; keep consuming the same type of drink all night long. In case you drink cocktails, be sure that you drink the same kind. Consumers say that in order not to get drunk, you should not mix beverages, like whiskey with rum or gin. In reality, the alcohol level in the blood, which determines how drunk you are, depends on the amount of ingested alcohol, independently of the type of alcoholic drink you serve.

Still, when mixing alcoholic beverages, the alcohol passes more quickly from the stomach into the blood, getting you drunk sooner, and leaving splitting headaches and major hangovers. But blame the hangover also on excess.

2.Alcohol is regarded as an aphrodisiac. It is employed to "loosen up" a bit. Of course, it breaks inhibitions, easing the inter-personal contact. Alcohol gives people more (much more than without it) guts to do what they desire, also being less aware of consequences.

Harvard researchers showed that frequent bingers engaged in unplanned sexual activity in 41 % of the cases compared to 8 % in non binge drinkers and they had unprotected sex in 22 % of the cases compared to 4 %.

Small amounts of alcohol can increase the blood circulations (thereby the sexual function too) but large amounts provoke erectile dysfunction (impotence) due to its action on arteries and veins and decreased sex drive, because it lowers testosterone levels.

3.You made the party, and drank like nobody else. Now you're saying "It's the last time I do that!"…of course, until the next party comes.

Before a binge, the consequences will be eased if you ingest a medium packet of potato chips or a sandwich with salami and butter about an hour before. The bread and potato chips will absorb some of the alcohol so that it will not enter the blood immediately.

4.In case of vomiting due to excessive drinking, let it all out and then drink a sports beverage to reintroduce in the body some of the lost minerals. The sports drinks will also replenish the salts lost through the kidneys while drinking.

After a drinking bout, on average 3 glasses of water are required to rehydrate your body. Because during drinking you lose many fluids, going to bed dehydrated will leave the body unable to eliminate the alcohol out of your body and in concentrated levels, the alcohol will induce nasty effects later.

Oral contraceptives will no longer work if women take them 4 hours before vomiting because of heavy drinking.

5.Hangover is on. Painkillers like aspirin or ibuprofen will just worsen the situation as if taken in high amounts or for a longer period of time, they'll cause kidney problems (like kidney failure).

After the hangover has installed, there are some home remedies, with no side effects, that will make you get rid of it: 1 squeezed lemon into a black coffee, no sugar, no milk.

Chicken or tripe soup (or any kind of meat) is good. Take 2 tablespoons of honey each 30 minutes since you wake up till you start feeling better. Apples or peanut butter also work. Many people use pickles, which also restore a lot of the lost salt.

Probably the most effective remedy is a banana and honey milkshake (3 bananas blended with some milk and honey). This will settle your stomach, calming your nerves and relieve the killing headache.

6.Over 30 % of Americans suffer from alcohol abuse: 17.8% of them have alcohol abuse problems, and 12.5 % are alcohol-dependent. The hallmarks of alcohol abuse are interpersonal problems, financial problems and problems in daily living due to excessive drinking. Alcohol dependence means a person has a compulsion to drink and an impaired control. These are the results of a research made on 43,093 U.S. adults, in interviews done between 2001 and 2002.

This data makes alcohol the top addiction in US.

7.A 2007 research made at the University of Mississippi Medical Center revealed that moderate alcohol intake, of just about two drinks daily, can induce breast cancer, stimulating tumor growth. This can be due to blood vessels growth stimulation induced by alcohol.

Alcohol is a toxin and the cells overdrive to get rid of it: they emit chemicals, induce the growth of blood vessels, but the same vessels are exactly what a tumor needs to exist, as they provide oxygen and nutrients.

8.A recent research found that 22% of the non alcohol dependent people had 10 or more partners, compared to 31% of problem drinkers and 45% of those who were alcohol dependent.

9.Energy drinks help you pump more alcohol than usual. But this does nothing more than to increase the effect of alcohol, as revealed by a 2007 research made at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Student subjects who mixed alcohol with energy drinks were twice more vulnerable to injuries, and twice more likely to get into the hospital or ride with a drunk driver, compared to those who did not drink alcohol accompanied by energy drinks. The first category of subjects was also twice more likely to commit sexual abuse.

Mixing energy drinks with alcohol made subjects consume more alcohol during a typical drinking session (5.8 drinks versus 4.5 drinks), and in binge sessions, even 36 % more (8.3 against 6.1). The number of weekly drinking sessions were also double for those adding energy drinks to alcohol (1.4 versus 0.73 days/week). The categories more prone to this mix consume were male, white, intramural athletes, Greek society members or pledges, or older.

The energy drink companies typically tout non-essential ingredients like taurine which is rumored to raise exercise capacity, and ginseng, which some companies claim enhances libido, but the main ingredient in energy drinks is caffeine.

Mixing caffeine (a stimulant) with alcohol (a depressant), is like getting into a car and stepping on the gas pedal and the brake at the same time. Students whose motor skills, visual reaction times, and judgment are impaired by alcohol may not perceive that they are intoxicated as readily when they're also ingesting a stimulant. Only the symptoms of drunkenness are reduced - but not the drunkenness, so that the individuals can't tell if they're drunk; they can't tell if someone else is drunk.

10.They say alcohol doesn't help if you want to get slimmer, but the beer belly seems to be a myth; beer makes you fat rather by increasing your appetite than by its own calories.

11.People who undergo gastric bypass (in cases of obesity) surgery get drunk quicker and it takes longer for them to expel the alcohol out of their bodies.

12.Yeah, you are already used to it. Your female partner is already in an alcoholic comma after drinking two beers. Women are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of alcohol, and from 15.1 million alcohol-abusing or alcohol-dependent individuals in the United States, approximately 4.6 million (nearly one-third) are women.

On the whole, women who drink consume less alcohol and have fewer alcohol-related problems and dependence symptoms than men, yet among the heaviest drinkers, women equal or surpass men in the number of problems that result from their drinking, as alcohol attacks more easily female liver, heart, brain and other organs. For example, the minimum alcohol level needed to trigger cirrhosis in a woman's liver is two-three times smaller than for a man.

One theory says this is due to the smaller size of the female body and, moreover, to the fact that they have a tendency to store more fat tissue. Alcohol is dispersed in the water from the body. The more water available, the more diluted the alcohol.

Pound for pound, women have less water in their bodies than men, so a woman's organs are exposed to more alcohol before it is broken down. The fat tissue complicates the converting of alcohol in fats (lipids) and, this way, dilutes the ingested booze.

A third factor was found in the woman's stomach. Enzymes that attack the alcohol - before this passes into the bloodstream - have a lower performance in women. In case of alcohol abuse, the alcohol amount in their bloodstream is higher and, as a result, the risk of suffering its toxic effects raised.

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By    21 Dec 2007, 15:54 GMT