Many studies have shown the positive effects of drinking one to two glasses of wine a day. These effects include sharper memory, healthy weight, protection from stomach and ovarian cancers, stronger bones and a lower risk of diabetes. Not to mention the list of antioxidants many red wines have. However, wine is still an alcohol and excessively drinking wine, like any other alcoholic beverage, has negative consequences.
The most obvious consequence of drinking too much is becoming addicted. Alcoholism is defined as "An addiction to the consumption of alcoholic liquor or the mental illness and compulsive behavior resulting from alcohol dependency." People who let alcohol effect their work or personal life or act recklessly may abuse alcohol but not be an alcoholic. Alcoholics have a physical dependency on alcohol. Alcoholism is considered a chronic disease and, when users stop drinking, they can exhibit withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, shaking, anxiety and delirium.
Higher Blood Pressure
A few studies have shown a positive relationship between one glass of wine and blood pressure. However, other studies have shown mixed results. One such study from Dallas, Texas found that, of the 24 men tested, wine increased systolic pressure by an average of 1.9 mm Hg and increased sleeping heart rate by 4.4 bpm. Participants drinking beer had similar results. Of the participants drinking non-alcoholic wine, researchers found the antioxidants did not have enough effect to mitigate higher blood pressure. The American Heart Association says "No direct comparison trials have been done to determine the specific effect of wine or other alcohol on the risk of developing heart disease or stroke."
The acids in wine are an important component in the process of wine making. Acids effect the taste, color and smell of the finished wine. These acids come from the grapes themselves, as well as other ingredients such as blackberries and cherries. The acid content of wine tends to wear away tooth enamel over time making teeth prone to decay. Brushing teeth immediately after drinking only aggravates the process by further scratching the sensitive enamel.
Long-term drinking can cause severe damage to the liver and result in liver disease. The liver works by storing vital nutrients, manufacturing proteins and enzymes, and breaking down toxins such as alcohol. The liver is the chief organ for processing alcohol and, as such, it is one of the most at risk for alcohol related illnesses. Heavy drinking for as little as a few days can lead to "fatty" liver, or steatosis---the earliest stage of alcoholic liver disease. If heavy drinking continues the disease develops into alcoholic hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver. Symptoms include vomiting, fever, abdominal pain and confusion. The final stage is known as alcoholic cirrhosis, in which healthy liver cells are replaced by scar tissue, leaving the liver unable to perform its vital functions. Alcoholic cirrhosis is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States.
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The Effects of Two Glasses of Wine a Day
After a long day at the office, kicking your feet up with a glass of wine in hand is a nice way...