Even Small Amounts of Alcohol May Not be Safe

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JHEPATcover 1..2It is probably common knowledge by know that drinking alcohol in large amounts is dangerous. Those who excessively consume alcohol are at risk for a myriad of health problems as well as the potential for legal issues resulting in increased alcohol abuse. However, a study conducted in Denmark recently shows that even a small amount of alcohol on a daily basis puts consumers at risk. According to the study, men who drink even one drink daily are more likely to develop cirrhosis.

“Investigators have now established that alcohol drinking pattern has a significant influence on the risk of cirrhosis and that daily drinking increases that risk compared with drinking less frequently,” explained Gro Askgaard, one of the researchers of the study.

The liver is a vital organ that is responsible for filtering blood of all toxins and waste. The organ also detoxifies the body from substances like alcohol. Cirrhosis most often occurs when the liver is damaged through repeated alcohol consumption. The organ develops a thickening of the tissue that lines it and becomes inflamed. Unfortunately, cirrhosis cannot be cured, and once the liver becomes scarred from the disease the person is likely to experience complications. Blood is unable to pass through the liver because it cannot get around all the scar tissue.

Researchers compiled data from men and women aged 50 to 64. Of the 56,000 participants, those who did not consume alcohol on a daily basis were less likely to develop the liver disease. Perhaps some good news for those who are reformed drinkers, scientists noted that people who consumed alcohol heavily in their youth but have stopped as they became older were less likely to have liver problems than adults who started drinking heavily as they aged.