9. Alcohol Can Damage Your Organs
Excessive amounts of alcohol place undue stress on many of your body organs and systems. While a glass of red wine may impart some heart benefits, too much alcohol can increase the risk of heart disease. Substantial amounts of alcohol can damage your heart muscle, raise your blood pressure, and cause irregular heartbeats. The stress of alcohol on your liver can cause cirrhosis, fatty liver, and alcoholic hepatitis. Additionally, the National Institutes of Health warns that alcohol increases the formation of toxic substances in the pancreas that can cause pancreatitis.
8. It Shrinks Your Brain Cells
Alcohol has a pleasurable effect on your brain by releasing feel-good endorphins and decreasing inhibitions. However, alcohol can have a negative effect on brain health by causing brain cells to atrophy. Excessive quantities of alcohol can cause slurred speech, decreased motor skills, and blackouts. Drunkenness has an obvious effect on short-term mental functioning. However, one study suggests that even drinking moderate amounts of alcohol can lead to a decline in memory, understanding, and brain function. A separate study found that brain scans of heavy drinkers showed increased brain degeneration when compared with those of moderate drinkers.
7. It Suppresses Your Immune System
Excessive amounts of alcohol can prevent your body from mounting a proper immune response when confronted with infectious diseases. Studies suggest that alcohol not only leaves your body open to attack by infection, but it also prevents your body from repairing cells and tissues damaged by illness. Alcohol disrupts the normal flora of your digestive tract, leaving you susceptible to gastrointestinal illness. It may also weaken your respiratory system, allowing you to fall prey to respiratory diseases such as pneumonia or RSV.