usual alcohol present in food and beverages is called ethanol. It is
made by fermentation of carbohydrate. It is virtually never found in
freshly collected food. It has an energy value of 7 kilocalories or
29 kilojoules per gram. But, with high alcohol intakes, proportionately
less of the alcohol is used to produce useful energy.
is some evidence that a small amount of ethanol may actually protect
against coronary heart disease. However, depending on other lifestyle
factors, there may be a 'trade-off in that any quantity of ethanol increases
blood pressure to some extent, which increases the risk of strokes.
the average intake of ethanol exceeds 80 grams per day, disease of one
sort or another is in due course inevitable. This situation is one of
alcohol abuse. The adverse effects are seen on brain, liver, heart,
muscles, blood, gut, nerves, pancreas (leading to diabetes or pancreatitis)
and nutritional status. Alcohol abuse can lead to deficiencies of vitamins,
including vitamin B-1, vitamin B-2, niacin, vitamin B-6, folacin and
vitamin C, and to element (mineral) deficiencies, which include zinc
and magnesium. These deficiencies will arise for various reasons such
as failure to eat food containing these nutrients, decreased absorption
or interference with nutrient usage. For some individuals, an average
daily alcohol intake of 40 grams per day will adversely affect health.
Probably the safest level of alcohol intake is one to two drinks a day,
equivalent to 8 to 20 grams of ethanol.
safe range of alcohol intake is:
8-20 grams of ethanol per