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Alcohol, Harmful or Beneficial? Essay

Alcohol consumption is a very discussed topic because of its controversial ways and ideas people have of it. The number one reason it is worldwide discussed is because it is said to help people reduce the risk of coronary disease. It is said that a ¨pattern of regular consumption¨ at least three to four days per week can be associated with the lowest risk of heart attacks. Many psychologist say doctors are dishonest because they fail to inform patients about the benefits of moderate drinking. People fear that such advice will justify the excessive amounts of alcohol consumed by some people. On the other hand other psychologists argue that drinking leads to more drinking and can have bad effects on your body and acquired serious problems that include: fetal alcohol syndrome, cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmia and more. They found also no relationship between alcohol and protecting people against coronary disease because there are many factors that can be identified in the test and the ways of living of the people that were examined.

There are a lot of contradictions having to do with alcohol and if it is wrong or right so we have to analyze perfectly our circumstances and understand our body to see what is right for us. ¨A pattern of regular consumption at least three to four days per week is associated with the lowest risk of heart attack¨. According to a study at Harvard school of public health frequent, moderate consumption of alcohol is good for your hearts health, they recommend it and say it is beneficial but also say it doesn’t offer the greatest protection on other things. A very shocking fact also appeared from the ¨ New England journal of medicine¨ that stated that men who drank moderated amounts of alcohol had lower risks of heart disease then men how didn’t drink at all. The ideal drinking amounts per week were stated to be three to four days per week. The people that studied this had to adjust many factors like the age, if they smoked, their physical activity, parental history of heart disease to have a good result, and surprisingly the lowest risk was the number of times per week a participant drank alcoholic drinks.

Another study conducted by ¨Dr. Guiseppe Zuccala¨ of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, said that ¨alcohol use may protect the brain from mental decline associated with aging¨. Drinking alcohol moderately could be associated with a 40 percent more or less of lower risk talking about mental impairment. This doctor thought this related with alcohol because alcohol has beneficial effects on blood flow and blood pressure. Alcohol may be improving how the body metabolized blood sugar so that may be helping to prevent the development of blood clots. However, it is always a little hard to offer individual advice based on studies done with numerous people. For example Mukamal stated that it should be taken in consideration a person’s family history, the risk of drunk driving, and the risk of liver problems and it should be taken into account before deciding the ¨safest¨level of alcohol an individual should have.

Psychologists like Stanton Peele argue that moderate drinking has been proven to be beneficial. Therefore, doctors should recommend it. He thinks patients are capable of making good decisions for themselves and dismisses the idea that maybe saying that alcohol is beneficial might cause people to drink alcohol but in large amount. Anton peele argues that without doubt evidence has established beyond question that alcohol reduces Coronary artery disease. Drinking to excess, is proven to increase mortality diseases such as cancer, cirrhosis, and accidents, but studies conducted with ACS, Harvard (U.S) , Britain and Denmark have found that moderated drinking can reduce all mortality. The fear of this statement though and why many people don’t advice it is because such an advice like this one will justify the excessive drinking that some patients are already involved in and will make people that cannot handle alcohol to drink.

But psychologist that are in favor with alcohol believe that to have this view is to think people are stupid and not giving them the opportunity to have a better health, and that people should be able and are capable of handling this information. The World Health Organization stated that medical personnel that advised people that drank too much to reduce their drinking rates were the most successful therapy for their problems with drinking. Facts state that people that actually drink alcohol some days a week live longer than people who don’t drink at all. Charles Fuchs and his colleagues at Harvard, Morten GronBaek, Richard Doll, Suh, Paolo Boffetta, Lawrence Garfinkel and much more psychologist and doctors made studies with all different races, genders, different occupations, nations, and different risk profiles and stated that alcohol prolonged living.

Then, why do Americans like physicians, educators, and political leaders refuse to recognize alcoholic benefits? United States has banned the sale of alcohol from 1920 to 1933. But, alcohol has never been banned in France, Italy, Spain and other parts in Europe. So why do some nations like America prevent their minds from thinking that alcohol might be beneficial for people. The thing is that despite their concentration on alcoholic problems and their prevention they actually have MORE drinking problems than people in those nations in Europe that adapt alcohol to their social life’s. The difference might be that nations like America drink alcohol in a different way. People in America drink alcohol to socialize or have more fun in parties and it’s seen as an accompaniment or a thing that has to be there in the parties and a thing you have to try. People in America use it to fit in, to lose fears of approach to other people. In Europe Alcohol is seen in a very different way.

A lot of countries in Europe like France are wine drinking nations. ¨wine drinking nations¨ encourage socialized drinking with their families, ALL the family, all ages at their meals and when they meet with friends. These types of culture do not teach their kids that alcohol is categorized as an addictive drug. So, moderate drinking is taught to children in their homes and is seen as a normal and good things rather than bad and harmful. And like everything in the world not all people agree on one statement. Some psychologist and doctors argue that moderate use of alcohol has not been proven to give people benefits in the cardiovascular topic. Davey Smith a professor of epidemiology says alcohol is harmful to the cardiovascular system. He states ¨such an advice will likely encourage both moderate and binge drinkers to drink more, to the detriment of their health.

There has also been studies like in the University of Bristol by a professor named George Davey smith that drinking increases the risk of stroke and that there are other alcohol related causes like cirrhosis, dying through acts of violence, driving accidents and oesophageal cancer. When they did the tests they realized that men who drank the most had highest rates of coronary heart disease, considering that those men also smoked and tended to come from worse social conditions. So the elevation in coronary disease risk was explained by other factors and behaviors, so therefore they think there is little association between alcohol and coronary disease, but they also think that certainly it wasn’t protective. Practically they think that the facts stated by people that were in favor of alcohol looked at normal people with normal drinking habits.

The studies that had shown that alcohol was protective for the heart were studies made to healthy people. Professor Davey Smith gives examples like the British Doctors study that were all doctors. Another study was all nurses, and there was also a famous study in the U.S.A made by the American Cancer Society, which were people that volunteered to do it. These people are more likely to be moderated in consuming alcohol in the least harmful way and it is said that it might even be protective for coronary heart disease. But the thing is that most people don’t drink in that kind of way. A study was made in Scotland were people are not used to drinking one or two glasses of wine per day, , people in Scotland don’t drink during the week and on weekends drink like 5 to 6 glasses of alcohol in one night.

So people that ¨binge¨ drink does that. So, Men or women that drink many glasses of alcohol in one single night, maybe even one single hour have a higher rate of cardiovascular disease. Psychological evidence shows that people who drink large amounts of alcohol in occasions like this tend to have their clotting function stimulated, so their blood tends to clot more and more a will achieve strokes easily. American Heart Association states: ¨Excessive drinking and binge drinking can lead to stoke, other serious problems include: fetal alcohol syndrome, cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death¨. Mostly the notion that it is better to drink for your health is the thing that makes this psychologist, professors and more think this is a bad idea.

They think that if you enjoy moderate drinking, moderate drinking is fine, but people should be able to do it because they like it not because of its ¨health effects. So finally, does moderate drinking have the ability to protect us against coronary heart disease, or is it unestablished? It is said in this case to be indefinitely established and that we have to take in account that messages that promote drinking as being something healthy aren’t going to increase moderate drinking but heavy drinking. The potential benefits of alcohol that we know are: the increase of ¨HDL cholesterol levels and prolonged clotting time, reduced risk for coronary disease, adult onset diabetes, and ischemic stroke. But it is important to exercise caution when discussing the benefits of light drinking with patients. Usually people who abstain to alcohol, have had a history of drinking problems, or maybe they struggled against some kind of addiction, and people who just don’t drink and shouldn’t be lead that way just because they think that it will improve their health. The thing is that patients who may gain the most from drinking lightly are super difficult to point out.

Those people who are more tended to have cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes can benefit from alcohol. Also people who are at risk of conditions and demonstrate that they can drink with limits and moderation should be able to continue to do this. People who drink moderately have some risks of getting alcohol related diseases and maybe some kinds of injuries, but they are obviously at less risk then those who drink way more than moderately. The risk of cirrhosis can increase significantly with just 2 or 3 drinks per day. Blood pressure may increase in someone that has 1 or 2 drinks per day also 2 drinks per day can affect hip fractures in women. No data exists to prove that a population of nondrinking people could get benefits from beginning to drink in small amounts.

So, it is not advisable to recommend this to people that have chosen to abstain. Those people who drink moderately are not recommended to increase their alcohol habits. People with personal or family history of alcohol related problems should avoid drinking. People can reduce cardiovascular risks in other ways, like eating a healthy diet, exercising, and taking lipid-lowering drugs. ¨The American Heart Association does not recommend alcohol¨. Studies say that ½ oz. of alcohol per day can make your HDL cholesterols levels increase (the good cholesterol) so it can reduce myocardial infarction. But alcohol causes severe medical problems like car accidents, heart failure and cardiomyopathy, liver failure, stroke and cancer, another argument is that the ¨company¨ of alcohol may provide the benefit. People that drink wine with dinner will normally might probably have a good lifestyle in a good socioeconomic class, and some studies suggest that some substances that are in beer and wine might have flavenoids that are serving as a good thing to the mechanism.

Because of all of this reason the Heart Association published a statement that said to doctors to please do not recommend alcohol to patient’s ¨as a mean of reducing the risk of heart disease¨. Finally, in my opinion Alcohol can be good or bad depending on the way you consume it and it depends on who you are and how you live, your family history and much more. It is difficult for doctors to identify patients who would gain benefits from consuming alcohol beverages. But, It is true that patients with good health and no alcoholic family history can benefit from this while they consume it moderately. A problem in America is that we binge drink a lot so we cannot get this benefits as much as the European population. The European population drinks 1 to 2 cups of wine with their meals so it may bring benefits to the heart.

We can apply this to real life because people see alcohol in America as something bad, banning it and telling kids that alcohol is bad may be a mistake because it brings out curiosity. Instead kids in Europe are raised not thinking much in alcohol or are used to it since they drink daily in small amounts. Doctors should be able to medicate it to patients that they know will achieve good results, but also it is hard for doctors to do this because they can’t know if that person will abuse of alcohol or drink moderately. All in all we all need to think and do things with equilibrium because nothing is good when it’s too much or too little. On this case no alcohol may be okay for people who choose to abstain.


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