Drinking a lot of booze may seem like fun momentarily, but it’s bound to leave you feeling miserable the next morning thanks to the nasty hangover that’s likely to greet you.
It’s important to exercise moderation for everything – this includes alcohol. While you might feel like indulging in a lot of booze every now and then, know that drinking too much alcohol prevents your body from absorbing essential nutrients in the food you eat – which are important for your body to function well. Wondering how? Alcohol damages the cells lining your stomach and intestine and decreases the secretion of digestive enzymes by the pancreas. So, when you drink excess alcohol, your body isn’t absorbing the amount of nutrients it needs, resulting in deficiencies and, sometimes, serious illnesses.
Here are 3 essential nutrients that drinking alcohol deprives you of.
3 Nutrients You Lose From Your Body Because Of Excess Alcohol
Cells are mostly made of proteins, so
If you’re deprived of proteins because of drinking too much alcohol, chances are that you’ll acquire alcoholic pancreatitis – inflammation of the pancreas that lasts for a long time and results in digestive enzymes attacking the pancreas instead of aiding it in digestion.2
Your body needs thiamine (also known as vitamin B1) for breaking down carbohydrates –
Less thiamine not only hampers a number of cellular functions but also results in an increased risk of serious brain diseases. One such brain disease is called the Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which results in brain damage, severe memory loss, and impaired movement.4
Alcohol has also been found to block the absorption and activation of folate, another important B vitamin. Folate is extremely vital for a number of functions even at the fetal stage such as the development of an embryo’s spinal cord. It also plays an important role in cell division – which, in turn, is essential for building DNA.5
Insufficient folate in the body due to
High levels of alcohol consumption also cause reduced fat absorption, resulting in low levels of vitamins A, E, and D, which are normally absorbed by the body from dietary fats. Vitamin A deficiency results in night blindness, while vitamin D deficiency results in weak bones.7 Excess alcohol consumption could also cause vitamin K deficiency – which, in turn, results in unstoppable bleeding as vitamin K is essential for blood clotting. A decrease in the levels of all these vitamins may also increase the risk of liver damage.
Drinking too much alcohol is likely to result in
Magnesium deficiency is likely to hamper body functions – especially in the cardiac and neuromuscular systems – while zinc deficiency could cause night blindness and skin lesions. Likewise, less iron could result in anemia, and less calcium is likely to result in weak bones and bone disorders.
Apart from making you devoid of these essential nutrients, drinking too much alcohol is also bound to dehydrate you, resulting in hangovers. Water is important for your body to perform most bodily functions and to metabolize all nutrients. So, the next time you decide to drink alcohol, remember to drink moderate amounts to avoid possible nutrient deficiencies and serious illnesses.
|↑1||Alcohol Alert. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.|
|↑2||Sarles, H. “Alcoholism and pancreatitis.” Scandinavian journal of gastroenterology 6, no. 3 (1971): 193-198.|
|↑3, ↑4||The Role of Thiamine Deficiency in Alcoholic Brain Disease. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.|
|↑5||Alcohol: Balancing Risks and Benefits. Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health.|
|↑6||Alcohol: Balancing Risks and Benefits. Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health.|
|↑7||Alcohol Alert. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.|