Alcohol consumptions effects heart & liver risk factor vascular disease

Effects of alcohol on heart and liver

11:01 AM, 8th August 2014
Alcohol consumptions effects on heart &  liver risk factor for vascular disease

SINGAPORE: Alcohol consumptions has many psycho-social issues. The journey begins with the alcoholic drink slipping past lips, down the oesophagus and into stomach, dancing its way around the gastric juices. For those drinking a carbonated drink, alcohol will be absorbed faster as the pressure increases inside the stomach, forcing alcohol into the blood stream. This compared to the savvy consumer, who already has a stomach lined with food to curtail absorption. Soon, alcohol is absorbed into blood stream. The portal vein, connecting gut to liver, acts as the super-highway transporting alcohol, now neatly dissolved in the bloodstream.

At the liver, the Mecca of alcohol metabolism - alcohol meets its fate - where it becomes a mere shadow of its former self. The complex alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme pathway breaks down alcohol into safe bi-products of acetate, water and carbon dioxide with ruthless efficiency. Of course, there are limits. Too much alcohol can fast overwhelm liver’s capacity to metabolise liquid panacea, and consequently blood alcohol level rises.

Alcohol relaxes central nervous system where it depresses activity by interfering with chemical neurotransmitter signals, in particular, Gamma-Aminobutryric Acid (GABA). As alcohol alters these, communication between brain cells becomes increasingly impaired. Cardiovascular disease prevention from alcohol is, for many, a prickly chair to sit on, leaving them shifting, uncomfortable at the thought that a drug with such negative effects could be painted in such positive light. It is suggested that safe, moderated levels of alcohol promote aforementioned relaxation which consequently improves blood pressure - an established risk factor for vascular disease including heart attacks and strokes.

 

© TimesOfIndia News

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