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Alcohol And Its Effects On Your Heart

Alcohol in moderation is considered to be heart-healthy and good for your skin. But there is a very thin line between drinking in moderation and drinking a little too much. Moderate drinking is considered to be one drink for women and two drinks for men. A drink amounts to 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine or 1.5 oz of liquor with an ABV (Alcohol by Volume) of 80% 

A significant number of studies have shown that alcohol can increase the amount of HDL or good cholesterol. HDL helps keep LDL or bad cholesterol from clogging the arteries. A high level of HDL and a low level of LDL can protect a person from heart attacks and strokes. This, however, does not mean that consuming more alcohol will result in an increase in HDL. Alcohol like red wine contains flavonoids and other antioxidants that make it good for your heart, but so do fruits like red grapes and blueberries. Some studies show that people who are moderate drinkers have a lesser chance of suffering a stroke than non-drinkers. So in excess, alcohol can cause more harm than good. 

Anything above 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men in a span of 2 hours is considered binge drinking. At this time, your heart rate increases and sometimes can be irregular, causing a condition called arrhythmia. 

Consuming too much alcohol can increase the amount of fats like triglycerides in the blood. A combination of high triglycerides and high bad cholesterol or LDL can result in a fatty buildup in the arteries. This, in itself, is enough to increase the risk of heart attack or a stroke. 

Binge drinking often can also massively increase obesity as alcohol contains sugars and is often mixed with canned or aerated beverages. 

People with the below conditions should avoid alcohol as much as possible: 

  • Diabetes

  • High blood pressure

  • Irregular Heart Rate

  • History of strokes or heart attacks

  • Cardiomyopathy

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women

A lot of medicines cause reactions when in contact with alcohol and thus should be avoided at all costs. 

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