Is alcohol good for your health 4

Refraining from alcohol: how the organs recover

Status: 01/13/2020 2:24 p.m. | archive
Those who refrain from alcohol are doing something good for their body.

Do without alcohol for a month - this is what many people plan to do at the turn of the year. The resolution is particularly popular in Great Britain: around four million Brits are taking part. Researchers at the University of Sussex have investigated what a four-week abstinence from alcohol can bring. Study participants said they slept better, had more energy, lost weight, and their skin condition improved.

The experience is easy to explain: Alcohol is not only high in calories, it also increases appetite and worsens fat metabolism. Because alcohol is a poison that puts a strain on many organs and functions in the body, abstinence leads to a healthier, fitter body. Because many organs can regenerate sooner or later.

How organs benefit from abstaining from alcohol

Not drinking alcohol for just one month has these effects on various organs:

  • in the stomach alcohol stimulates the production of stomach acid. If this happens all the time, the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed. But even after a long and regular consumption of alcohol, the stomach recovers after an abstinence of one to two months.
  • That too heart benefits from abstaining from alcohol. A study with 3,000 beer drinkers has shown that from 0.8 per mille alcohol in the blood every third person gets cardiac arrhythmias and every fourth person suffers from palpitations. But after a recovery time of half a day, the heartbeat normalizes again. People who tend to have cardiac arrhythmias in particular benefit from an alcohol-free month: the heart can get back into the right rhythm and the water balance returns to normal. Those affected feel fitter overall.
  • That benefits the most liver She suffers most from too much alcohol because it is responsible for detoxifying the body and distributing energy. But if she constantly has to break down alcohol, she stores it in the form of fat and becomes a so-called fatty liver. It can double its normal size and often leads to diabetes and obesity. But fatty liver can also regress again. After just one month, this development can be easily recognized by the liver values ​​in the blood.

Enjoyable abstinence: cocktails without alcohol

Even a relatively short period of one month without alcohol is good for the body - and the effects can be clearly felt. Even after abstinence, many drink less than usual. If you don't drink alcohol, you don't have to go without delicious drinks - there are, for example, many non-alcoholic cocktails.

How much alcohol is safe?

Many people misjudge the "normal" limits of alcohol consumption, which are harmless to health:

  • Doctors recommend for Women no more than 12 grams of pure alcohol per day - for a maximum of five days per week. That corresponds to 100 milliliters of wine or a small beer per day.
  • For Men the limit is about twice as high, i.e. a maximum of 200 milliliters of wine or two small glasses of beer per day.

If you don't drink alcohol at all several days a week and have two to three glasses of beer or wine with friends or with dinner on the weekend, you usually don't have to worry. But anyone who is already nervous about giving up their after-work beer should seriously rethink their alcohol consumption.

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Experts on the subject

Prof. Dr. Prof. h.c. (VRC) Helmut K. Seitz, Director
Alcohol Research Center Heidelberg University
Former President of the European Society for Alcohol Research
Chief Physician of the Medical Clinic
Salem Hospital
Zeppelinstrasse 11-33
69121 Heidelberg

Dr. Rainer Günther, Senior Physician, Head of Hepatology
Clinic for Internal Medicine I
University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel
Arnold Heller Strasse 3
24105 Kiel

Dr. Melanie Hümmelgen, specialist in internal medicine and cardiology
Senior physician in the cardiology department and deputy medical director
Rehabilitation Center Hamburg
Martinistrasse 66
20246 Hamburg
(040) 25 30 63-505

Dr. Peter Strate, chief physician
Dependency Disease Clinic
Asklepios Clinic North - Ochsenzoll location
Langenhorner Chaussee 560
22419 Hamburg
(040) 18 18-87 20 65

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