This Is Your Body on Alcohol: Alcohol is one of the most widely celebrated and socially accepted drugs of its time. Even after being outlawed in the 1920s during Prohibition, Americans found ways to keep booze in their lives.
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Did you know that one in every thirty-three babies is born with birth defects, which is the leading cause of infant deaths? Fetuses are negatively impacted when their mother’s drink alcohol or use drugs, as these substances will enter their bloodstream, disrupting development. Should the mother drink during her pregnancy, it is the most damaging during the first trimester. At this stage, the baby’s brain is still developing. The mother may not have serious issues after substance use, but the child will as they may experience developmental problems. The child will have to live the rest of their life with their own physical and/or mental problems. These children usually have lower IQs and smaller heads. It's important to raise awareness on this cause, as it is 100% preventable.
April is Alcohol Awareness Month, which is meant to help the general public better understand the nature and prevalence of alcoholism. This is imperative as there may be side effects, sometimes fatal, to individuals who suffer from this disease and others around them. We need to disregard the stigma associated with alcoholism in order to help those both directly and indirectly affected by it. Through providing the proper education about alcohol and paving the road to recovery for those who need it, we can hope that the estimated 75,000 lives taken by alcohol abuse every year will diminish.
Whether you are trying to lose weight or just want to be cautious of the amount of calories you consume daily, alcohol can be tricky. Your friends go out for drinks after work and of course you want to join them but you would rather not drink an entire days worth of calories in one mixed drink. Don’t let that stop you from having fun because here are some healthier cocktail options.
Healthier Cocktail Options #1:
Alex Bramwell/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Ever wonder why James Bond prefers his martinis shaken, not stirred?
When it comes to size, bigger isn’t always better, and a new study on testicles of all things shows what the consequences of an enlarged package just might be: a connection was found between large testicles and heart disease risk.
Researchers in Italy measured testicle size of more than 2,800 men who sought medical help for sexual dysfunction, and conducted follow up examinations with half of them for seven years. Surprisingly, they found an association between testicle size and risk factors associated with heart disease and heart attacks – namely smoking, heavy drinking, obesity, and high blood pressure.
The findings caught the research team off guard, as larger testicles usually predict a certain level of healthiness. Indeed, Guilia Rasterelli, the lead researcher on the project, conceded, “Although it is generally assumed that testis size can predict reproductive fitness, our results indicate that this objective parameter can provide insights also on overall health and [cardiovascular disease] risk."
The reason behind it all: hormones. Testicle size is controlled by the amount of testosterone present in the body, and testosterone production is regulated in turn by another hormone. This chemical is called luteinizing hormone, or LH for short, and may be responsible for causing problems with the cardiovascular system. However, elevated LH levels would not explain why these men are predisposed to lifestyle risk factors like smoking and drinking.
The jury is still out on the results of the study, and many experts find the results conflicting. Consider the following: testicles in a way are responsible for their own size. If testosterone production is down, the testes will begin to shrink. In order to stop from getting too small, the testes will release some chemical that will signal the release of LH, which will facilitate the production of testosterone, which will bring them back up to size. Physiologically, elevated levels of LH should be seen in men with smaller testicles, those that are desperately trying to up-regulate testosterone production so that they can return to a normal size.
“I think there isn’t a relationship that makes sense here,” said Dr. Andrew Kramer, a urologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center.
The researchers understand this apparent contradiction and admit that another factor, not considered in the study, may be responsible for both the high LH levels and the heart problems.
Finally, due to the unrepresentative population covered in the study – men who sought medical attention due to sexual dysfunction – additional studies must be conducted before results can be applied to the all men, at large.
Alcohol users are at high risk for developing chronic illnesses including hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and various cancers. A new study by Oxford University suggests that cutting alcohol consumption to five grams a day could save approximately 4,600 lives a year in England.