Era of alcohol free beverage generation


Dr Sashi Acharya M.D;Ph.D (Shiva Hospital Birgunj, Nepal)

Heavy consumption of alcohol is a major cause of hypertension and stroke. Even the light and moderate drinking is not good for heart. It may cause cardiomyopathy. In cardiomyopathy heart loses its efficiency to work, as a result heart muscles become weak and the heart dilates leading to the heart failure. The researchers have shown that people who consume one or two drinks a day have fewer coronary events. However, it seems to be doubtful that alcohol itself might protect coronary heart disease.  Healthy life styles like healthy diet and physical exercise could lower risk for CHD in alcohol consumers. Some studies report that wine (particularly red wine) affords more CHD protection than other alcoholic beverages at equivalent levels of alcohol consumption, which makes the researchers, think that not the alcohol itself but the ingredients in the alcohol such as antioxidant might be responsible for CHD protection. It is known that red wine contains antioxidant –resveratrol, which is believed to be heart protective.


Possible mechanisms through which alcohol may protect the heart:  The processes like arteriosclerosis, inflammation, and thrombosis are responsible for coronary heart disease Alcohol has positive as well as negative impact on the above-mentioned processes.


Bad effects of alcohol on heart:

·        In Alcoholic cardiomyopathy heart muscles may be damaged leading to the left ventricle systolic dysfunction with the symptoms like shortness of breath, cough, fatigue. In most of the cases cardiomyopathy is diagnosed in already advanced stage of heart failure.

·         Alcohol can induce various arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation, atrialflutter, other supraventricular arrhythmia, premature ventricular contractions that sometimes may lead to death.

·          Those who consume more than two drinks per day may have hypertension the risk factor for coronary heart disease. The heavier drinkers are at greater risk for hypertension and stroke leading to the premature death and organic disability.

·         The anticoagulant effect of alcoholic beverage may increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke, or bleeding within the brain.

·        Women who are pregnant or trying to conceive should not drink alcohol. Women become more intoxicated than men at an equivalent dose of alcohol. In postmenopausal women, the apparent protective effect of alcohol may be explained by an alcohol-induced increase in estrogen levels.

·        Alcohol is additive for approximately 10% of consumers

·        In some women even half drink per day could be the cause of breast cancer. Excess intake of alcohol may lead to cirrhosis of the liver, pancreatitis and etc.

·        Homocystein is a protein, which is produced as an intermediate product during the breakdown of the amino acid methionine. Moderate drinkers have higher levels of homocysteine. Increased level of homocystein is an additional and independent risk factor for arteriosclerosis and CHD. American researchers showed that higher level of homocystein is responsible for 40% of all heart attacks.

. Conclusion: Women are more intoxicated than men at an equivalent dose of alcohol. The regular light drinking may result in high blood pressure and breast cancer in women. Healthy life styles like enough aerobic exercise, and a healthy diet, antioxidants and foliates in alcoholic beverages not alcohol itself protect moderate drinkers from the risk for coronary heart disease. The time has come to enrich the beverages with a new item of alcohol free wine, beer and other liquors just to entertain the people of all levels and of all ages.



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Laboratory information sheet 9. Homocystein - a risk factor for arteriosclerosis and heart diseases. What is homocystein? ... An increased homocystein level in blood is an additional risk factor for arteriosclerosis and coronary heart ... higher risk if the level of homocystein in the blood is increased.