Alcohol Consumption is on the Rise. Do you know the effect on your health? A study done by researchers at the University of Texas  School of Public Health and the University of North Texas Health Science Center has shown that more adults in the U.S. appear to be drinking alcohol since the last study in 2002. The study was done to determine trends over time. Presently, it appears an increase of 7-9% of the population has started to intake alcohol. Similarly, more people appear to binge drinking at least once per month, which is having 5 or more drinks in one day. Approximately 15-20% of men get drunk once per month. Experts think that many have turned to alcohol to deal with the stress due to the economic changes we have faced over the last 3 to 4 years.

Did you know alcohol depletes the body’s stores of critical nutrients and slows absorption of new nutrients? Alcohol depletes supplies of B-complex vitamins, which are essential to basic body processes. Vitamin B deficiencies can harm the heart, liver, and other organs, and cause muscle and nervous tissue damage as well as anemia. Alcohol also depletes vitamin A and may reduce the body's resistance to disease and impairs vision, particularly the ability of the eyes to adjust to darkness. Alcohol also blocks absorption of vitamin C, and can lead to anemia, and reduced resistance to disease.

Alcohol itself causes health issues, as well as contains many empty calories and excess carbs leading to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc., and can cause addiction issues. According to the American Heart Association, drinking too much alcohol can raise the levels of some fats in the blood (triglycerides). Excess alcohol can also lead to high blood pressure, heart failure and stroke.

Alcohol consumption should not be a coping mechanism for stress.  Exercise is a great way to relieve stress as well as talking with a close friend. Also when you are drinking alcohol, be sure to take a quality complete multivitamin that contains vitamins and essential minerals. That way your nutrition will be optimized and you are replacing the nutrients lost.

Yours in good health,

Linda Hlivka

Clinical Nutritionist