Alcohol: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Blog Article #4

Alcohol does more than just get you drunk by messing with your brain. Drinking has many other effects, both good and bad, on your body. For this post, I’m going to share with you the good, the bad, and the ugly outcomes of drinking.


Source: Click Here

Source: Click Here

As many of you already know, and may use as an argument to your advantage every now and then, consuming moderate amounts of alcohol has health benefits. Moderate consumption of alcohol can actually help prevent both cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, over 100 studies have been done that show an inverse relationship between moderate drinking and heart-related diseases. Consuming some alcohol is good for your heart. Though there is no perfect, agreed upon standard definition, “moderate drinking” typically refers to less than one drink per day on average. Consuming more than three or four drinks is where alcohol begins to do more bad than good.

Source: Click Here

Source: Click Here


Alcohol can and will make you fat if you drink too much. We’ve all heard the term “beer belly.This is often an accurate description of what can happen to your stomach if you drink excessively. The diagram on the right provides some insight into how many calories drinks contain. Essentially, many drinks have just as many calories as deserts. Assume the average drink contains about 150 calories. Now, if you average only one drink per day, the yearly caloric content in the alcohol you consume equates to about a 15-pound weight gain (55,000 calories). More than just your own personal weight can be affected though. A study done at the Washington University School of Medicine concluded that people who had a family history of alcoholism were at a greater risk of developing problems with obesity. Excessive drinking can impact both you and your potential offspring. Even if you aren’t concerned about your physical appearance, there are internal problems caused by drinking that are far worse.


Excessive alcohol consumption can cause a lot of health problems; however, for this post, I want to focus how it impacts the liver. You probably already know that alcohol is bad for your liver. But what does your liver do and why does alcohol inhibit its functioning? The liver is a large, football-sized filter inside your body. It’s main purpose is to detoxify the blood that goes through it. It cleans your blood. Additionally, your liver stores vitamins and minerals while also transforming sugars and proteins into substances that your body can use. Referred to as cirrhosis in its most extreme state, excessive drinking causes the liver to become inflamed. While this doesn’t happen to all heavy drinkers, the side-effects are serious. Early on, individuals can experience fatigue and appetite loss. As the condition worsens, abdominal pain and vomiting will often occur. There is no way for someone to feel that there liver is suffering. Only the side effects can be felt by people. At its worse, cirrhosis can lead to liver failure which will most likely result in death.

More information on this is available here.

Feel free to provide feedback or post any questions you may have in the comments section.

*Source for Featured Image on Cover


Drunken Brains. Blog Article #2

Source: Click Here

Source: Click Here

Before associating specific problems with college drinking, I think it’s beneficial to get a general sense of what alcohol does to the brain.


The average undergraduate college student is between the ages of 18 and 22. While only a fraction of them are of legal age, this certainly does not prevent them from drinking. Regardless, the following analysis includes students of both legal and non-legal drinking ages. A BBC news article explains that neuroscience has shown that human brain development continues into an individual’s late 20s. This includes development of a person’s emotions, judgment, and self-image. None of this will be set in stone until their prefrontal cortex is fully developed. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health points out that underage drinking “Can cause alterations in the structure and function of the developing brain, which continues to mature into the mid- to late twenties, and may have consequences reaching far beyond adolescence.” Alcohol, or any substance for that matter, has a more profound affect on underdeveloped brains.


Source: Click Here


CNN cites that most students, about 70%, who participate in underage drinking binge-drink. Heavy exposure to alcohol can cause severe, irreversible brain damage including, but certainly not limited to, memory loss and decreased memory retention. At a young age, these effects are more profound since the brain is not fully developed. To give you an idea of the distribution of how college student assess their own drinking habits, check out the pie-chart breakdown from a Harvard News post. Since this is a self-assessment, keep in mind that there may be some bias in what the students said about themselves. This is why this data does not match up perfectly with the CNN report I talked about.


Alcohol begins affecting the brain in noticeable ways once you reach between 0.04 and 0.08 blood alcohol content (BAC). When drunk, three primary parts of the brain are impacted: the amygdala (uhmig-duh-luh), frontal lobes, and the hippocampus. The amygdala regulates your comprehension of fear . The more you drink, the more this part of the brain is suppressed. You are less afraid of what the consequences of getting “wasted” will be after every drink you have. The frontal lobes in the brain regulate decision-making. Alcohol consumption temporarily degrades their functionality. This is why drunk people tend to make brash, illogical, and irresponsible decisions. The hippocampus is responsible for making memories in the brain. Alcohol consumption temporarily disrupts this function in the human brain.  Some students think they benefit from this because drinking may help them forget about their worries and responsibilities. Find out more here.


  • Alcohol has a more severe affect on college students because their brains are still developing
  • More than two-thirds of students who consume alcohol binge-drink
  • Binge-drinking causes students to quickly and consistently get drunk
  • Above a BAC of 0.8, brain functionality is significantly impaired

*Source for Featured Image on Cover