The effects of spirits

The harmful effects of alcohol

Alcohol is a toxic substance for the body and can cause various diseases, from liver cirrhosis to cancer. It does not provide nutrients of any kind, only calories, therefore it does not have a useful function for the human body; on the contrary, it can cause very serious damage to various organs, especially the liver and brain.

Alcohol can provoke dependence and in this sense it is even more dangerous than many illegal drugs. The negatives effects of spirits and alcohol in general, however, does not end here. According to data released by'World Health Organization, alcohol abuse is the cause of about half of all accidents: road, domestic, at work… and over a third of homicides. 


How much alcohol is in spirits

Alcohol, when abused, always hurts, but alcoholic beverages are not all the same in terms of quality, or rather, there are intelligent (and moderate) ways of drinking. There is in fact a big difference between a glass of wine or beer at the table and drinking to get drunk or make a massive use of spirits. Wine and beer, in fact, if taken in small quantities and in good health conditions, can bring some benefits to the body, which are due to the substances contained in the ingredients of which they are composed, the resveratol in the wine and the xanthohumol in beer, just to give two concrete examples.

It may be objected that many spirits are born from the same raw materials as wine and beer, but it is not the same thing as the alcohol content of spirits is, as the name implies, much higher than what can be found in a glass. of wine or in a glass of beer. To understand the difference between these drinks, just look at how many milliliters are enough for each of them to reach a 'alcohol unit, conventionally considered the unit of measurement to establish the "safe" doses of alcohol that can be taken in a day.  

One alcohol unit is equal to 12 grams of pure alcohol. An adult man can safely take two alcohol units within 24 hours, while an adult woman only one unit. These are purely indicative since the ability to metabolize alcohol depends on several factors, including, for example, body weight and general health, but it is still a convention that helps us to better understand how to drink with intelligence. 

As for the effects of spirits, just think that with a single glass of 40 ml spirits the alcoholic unit is reached; that is, a quantity of alcohol equal to that contained in 125 ml of wine and 330 ml of beer. If you think that spirits are often added to soft drinks and sweet drinks or used for the preparation of appetizing cocktails, the hidden risks are better understood. 


Alcohol alters psychophysical conditions

But what are the immediate effects of alcohol on psychophysical conditions, based on the quantity taken? Here is a list, bearing in mind that a BAC of 0,5 g / l is reached with about two alcohol units in adult women and about three units in adult men. The boys under the 16 years they should not consume even minimal doses of alcohol, as the enzymes that allow their metabolization, before that age, are not yet developed.

  • With 0,5 g / l: reduction of the ability to react, of the visual field, of the perception of light and sound stimuli
  • With 0,6 g / l: delayed perception of obstacles and movements
  • With 0,7 g / l: reduction of coordination of movements related to driving
  • With 0,8 g / l: reduction of the ability to evaluate distances, vehicle trajectories and dimensions
  • 1 g / l: euphoria, with motor disturbances that reduce balance
  • Over 1 g / l: mental confusion, total loss of lucidity

The source of this data is l'Higher Institute of Health.

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