Alcoholic beverages play an important role in out society. It is estimated that more than 10 000 year ago humans discovered that after a few days fruit juices and grain pulp start to ferment, leading to the well known and cherished properties of such beverages. This is probably how beer and wine were invented. Since then these beverage have become an inherent part of many cultures, especially with regard to festivities. Alcohol often also accompanies convivial gatherings. It can be uplifting on the spirits and for many people a glass of wine or beer goes hand in hand with a good meal.
Of course you do not have to drink alcohol to feel good or to celebrate. But a drink now and then is perfectly fine from a health point of view. But what about two or three?
We would like to present a few facts on alcohol and encourage you to take a look at your alcohol consumption. While a drink now and then is fine, an increased alcohol consumption can have severe consequences, especially in the long run. Also the capability of the body to process alcohol decreases with age. As part of an aware, health oriented lifestyle, alcohol consumption should therefore not exceed a certain level.
It is common for researchers and physicians to use the term “units of alcohol” when referring to the amount of alcohol within beverages or when measuring alcohol consumption. Recommendations on alcohol intake are also based on this international measure.
One unit of alcohol comprises about 10 grams of pure alcohol. That amount is contained approximately in one half pint of beer (0,25 l), one small glass of wine or sparkling wine (0,1 l) or one shot of liquor (4cl).
For women: Do not drink more than one unit of alcohol a day.
For men: Do not drink more than two unit of alcohol a day.
If your alcohol consumption regularly exceeds the recommended amount you risk that the negative consequences surmount the positive effects of drinking alcohol.
Are you on medication?
Please bear in mind that combining medication and alcohol can harm you health and even have fatal effects. The combination of alcohol and sleeping pills or tranquillisers as well as the combination of antidepressants and alcohol are especially dangerous.
If you are drinking alcohol on a regular basis it is a slippery slope to addiction. Alcohol addiction can develop independent of age. Some people drink to avoid physical discomfort or negative feelings such as sorrow, anxiety or loneliness. In this case it is expedient to seek adequate assistance. These groups and institutions can support in helping friends or family members.