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Ever wondered about the toxic effects of alcohol?

Alcohol’s toxic effects :



Increased aggressiveness

Long term use can increase anxiety due to damage to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain

Astrocyte damage

Consumption during pregnancy may cause fetal alcohol syndrome and ADD (attention deficit disorder)

Depression of the centres responsible for co-ordination and behaviour

May cause death of neurons in the cerebellum and cause  cerebellum dysfunction

Damage to the hippocampus and this damage can be exacerbated during withdrawal after prolonged consumption

Delirium tremens


Drug dependence

Memory impairment


Neuronal damage

Alcohol metabolite acetaldehyde may damage dendrites


Interference in sleep cyclye, the last half of the sleep cycle is interrupted and becomes shallower

Speech imparment

Free radical production via acetaldehyde

Accelerates peroxidation of lipids

Increased risk for tinnitus

Increased risk for macular degeneration

Increased lipofuscin production

Neurotransmitters : inhibition of release of acetylcholine in the central nervous system

Reduced receptors for GABA (Gamma aminobutyric acid)

Decreased production of NO (Nitric oxide)


Insufficient blood circulation to the brain after prolonged use

Congestive heart failure

Continual excessive consumption elevates blood pressure, small quantities reduce blood pressure

Increased risk of stroke, 1-2 drinks a day however decreases risk for stroke

Thrombosis risk is increased due to increased ability of platelets to aggregate (except for redwine)

Elevation of cholesterol

Cholestasis (impaired delivery of bile to the intestines often due to congested liver)

Duodenum damage

Irritation and inflammation of the stomach lining, gastritis, peptic ulcer, hypochlohydria, heartburn, increased intestinal permeability

Free radical damage to the pancreas, pancreatic insufficiency, pancreatitis

Liver malfunction (fatty liver, cirrhosis, choline deficiency, elevated methionine)

Destruction of good bacteria in the digestive tract (bifidobacteria bifidus, lactobacillus acidophilus)

Depletion of glutathione

Increased risk for allergies

Increased risk for cancers : breast cancer

Colon cancer

Esophagus cancer

Larynx cancer

Liver cancer

Mouth cancer

Pancreatic cancer

Pharynx cancer (for example 4 or more alcohol beverages/day triples the risk of dying of pharynx cancer)

Malignant melanoma

Stomach cancer

Suppression of the immune system

Decreased athletic performance by at least 10%

May stimulate process of crosslinking

Increased risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus, moderate consumption though decreases risk for insulin resistance

Reactive hypoglycemia
liver malfunction (fatty liver, cirrhosis, choline deficiency, elevated methionine)

Increased production of low density lipoproteins

Increases the risk for obesity and causes difficulty with weightloss

Increased triglyceride production

Reduced absorption of calcium, magnesium, excretion of potassium and magnesium increased

Depletion of selenium and zinc

Increased excretion of rutin

Deficiencies in quinines

Increased production of endogenous lactic acid

Increased risk for gout due to decreased excretion of uric acid

Gynecomastia (enlargement of the breasts)

Leukoplakia (precancerous lesions in the mouth)

Increased risk for osteoporosis

Increased risk for rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown)

Female infertility


Male impotence, infertility

Impairment of sexual performance by lowering nitric oxide which is required for erectile function

Testicular damage and shrinkage


Psoriasis may be exacerbated

Accelerated wrinkles


Aminoacids : decline in histidine levels

Decreased production of SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine)

Increased loss of taurine and interferes with the body’s ability to utilize taurine properly

Carbohydrates : decreased tolerance of galactose

Carotenoids : decreased levels of carotenoids

Digestive system chemicals : Decreased hydrochloric acid production

Enzymes : decreased choline acetylase activity in the brain

Lowered endogenous production of the delta-6-desaturase enzyme

Inhibited activity of methionine synthase


Inhibited production and release of growth hormone

Decreased production of IgF1 (insulin like growth factor)

Lowered melatonin production.

Increased prolactin production  (by interference with GABA receptors in the brain)

Reduction of testosterone levels

Increased male levels of estrogens due to impaired liver’s ability to eliminate excess estrogen


Absorption of CMO (cetylmyristoleate) can be affected

DHA depletion in the brain and retina


Destruction of  Biotin, choline, folic acid, inositol, PABA (para aminobenzoic acid), vit b6,vit e, vit k, vit c (via acetaldehyde)

Inhibition of choline uptake in the brain

Increased excretion of vitamin a,b1,b2

Increased excretion of vit b12

Depletion of vitamin d


Aldehydes : alcohol is oxidized in the liver to form acetaldehyde which is responsible for toxic effects of alcohol consumption

Alkaloids : acetaldehyde reacts with neurotransmitters within the brain to form harmful, addictive endogenous isoquinoline alkaloids

Amines : Alcohol inhibits the desirable oxidation (breakdown) of toxic amines

Amino acids : increased homocysteine

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