“As we grow older, our body’s ability to process alcohol decreases due to a combination of changes,” says Erika Schwartz, MD, an integrated medicine physician who founded Evolved Science. “This is due to both natural aging and the accumulation of exposure to toxins throughout life, as well as the deterioration of enzymatic processes necessary for the detoxification of alcohol from our system.”
Dr. Schwartz goes on to explain that as we age, muscle is replaced by fat and fat cells retain less water than muscle cells, greatly reducing the positive effect that muscles can have on alcohol processing. “Not only does this mean that your body can not metabolize alcohol as quickly as when you were younger, but it also increases the immediate damage to your liver from alcohol,” he says.
We said… everyone is different.
Some people – including the elderly – may sway after an alcoholic beverage, while others may need a few drinks to feel any effect. “Body size and composition are important factors in detoxification and alcohol tolerance regardless of age,” says Dr. Schwartz. “Many [people who identify as] Men tend to have larger bodies, which indicates a larger distribution area of alcohol to reduce the overall alcohol content. They also tend to have more muscle, which in turn leads to higher water content, helping to dilute and reduce the effect of alcohol on the body. Also some [people who identify as] “Women have less alcohol dehydrogenase, the enzyme that breaks down alcohol, leaving more alcohol in the bloodstream for longer periods of time.” This is why the US Dietary Guidelines recommend keeping alcohol consumption habits to a minimum, which sets no more than two drinks a day for men and one a day for women.
“Moderate to heavy alcohol consumption for extended periods of time can increase the risk of a dangerous type of irregular heartbeat in adults over 40,” said Suzanne Steinbaum, MD, MD, MD, MD, specialist at Go Red for Women in the United States. Heart Association. move had previously said Well + Good. Atrial fibrillation, or AFib, occurs when the upper chambers of the heart beat irregularly and can increase the risk of stroke fivefold if left untreated. The disease is estimated to affect 12.1 million people in the United States by 2030. Studies have linked higher alcohol consumption to an increased risk of AFib. If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, your doctor can [also] advises you to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink “.
If you are going to drink, follow these tips suggested by the experts
Gradually making it difficult to tolerate a glass of pinot is not fun, but there are some things that can be done to alleviate the negative effects of alcohol. Dr. Schwartz suggests limiting mixed sugar cocktails, which can further increase the inflammatory effects of alcohol and can make you drink too much. “Apart from that, studies on the effects of alcohol on the body show that the type of alcohol is not as important as its amount over time.” Again, he suggests limiting himself to one, but preferably to none (he is a doctor after all!).
Frequent physical activity can also help prevent the negative effects of alcohol. “As we age, our bodies metabolize alcohol less efficiently and blood alcohol levels remain high in people who are less active and poorly prepared to detoxify its unpleasant side effects,” says Dr. Schwartz.
Having said that, returning to the part about reducing the drink, it is worth noting that alcohol accelerates the aging process, because regular consumption of alcohol can lead to loss of skin elasticity, which can mean an increase in fine lines and wrinkles. wrinkles. “Alcohol also reduces cellular performance throughout the body, making our vital organs function less efficiently, leading to chronic diseases. In addition, it is a depressant that affects behavior and makes it difficult to think clearly and perform executive functions, “explains Dr. Schwartz.
And it’s not just that. While an occasional drink is good, consuming more alcohol than considered moderate has been shown to have a significant effect on hormone levels, especially testosterone. “Many studies in adults over the years have shown that drinking two to three drinks a week had a significant reduction in testosterone after three weeks, while others show that drinking alcohol can increase inflammation of the gut,” says Brigid Titgemeier. RD.
Conclusion? It is always important to be careful and honest with yourself about how many glasses you consume and how often. With this in mind, like most doctors, Dr. Schwartz would suggest working out to cut down on alcohol instead of working to make your body tolerate it better. Thinking about the cost of getting sick can certainly help satisfy Dr.’s recommendation. Schwartz. If not, flavored carbonated water or a good cocktail can make the transition easier.
Other alternatives? Try one of the new non-alcoholic wines on the market (which is shockingly delicious), an alcoholic beverage or sign up for Raising the Bar, a monthly subscription box that offers non-alcoholic craft cocktail ingredients to make zero proof drinks at home.
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