That alcoholic beverages should have displaced other fluids in early religions, both as offering and drink, is not surprising. That is why we use per capita consumption of pure alcohol as a measurement to avoid being biased as much as possible.
The irritating effects of alcohol, especially in undiluted strong beverages, can result in damage to the tissues of the mouthpharynxesophagusand stomach and an increased susceptibility to cancer in these organs.
Wine consumption on a per capita basis actually declined in some countries with traditionally high levels of consumption e. Worldwide, such chronic alcohol abuse causes as much death and disability as measles and malaria and results in more years lost to death and disability than are caused by tobacco or illegal drugs.
Alcohol has been, from olden times, a facilitator of risk-taking and morally lax, hedonistic behaviour; as such, it has evoked the displeasure and condemnation of those favouring moral strictness and an ascetic way of life.
The Greco-Roman classics abound with descriptions of drinking and often of drunkenness.
Water, a precious commodity in the earliest agriculturally dependent civilizations, was probably the original fluid used as offering in worship rites. The capacity of alcohol to help the shaman or priest and other participants reach a desired state of ecstasy or frenzy could not long have escaped observation, and its powers were naturally attributed to supernatural spirits and gods.
Not that the ancient uses of alcohol have been forgotten: Saliva contains an enzyme that carries out this conversion. Increased risk of certain cancersstroke, and liver diseases e. Alcohol use slows reaction time and impairs judgment and coordination, which are all skills needed to drive a car safely.
One ounce beer has about the same amount of alcohol as one 5-ounce glass of wine or 1. A standard drink is equal to Some drinkers are willing to suffer the mild and even the more severe aftereffects of occasional intoxication for the sake of the temporary dissociation, euphoria, or socialization associated with it, but frequent intoxication, even of moderate degree, imposes a severe and debilitating burden on the drinker.
By helping to reduce tension and fears and preoccupation with safety, alcohol can reduce as well as stimulate the impulse to engage in aggressive or dangerous activities. The importance of these alcoholic beverages is evident in the multiplicity of customs and regulations that developed around their production and uses.
For example, in North America, particularly in the United States, the introduction of low-calorie beer and wine in the early s was instrumental in the increased per capita consumption of alcohol in the late 20th century.
Drinking may be a ceremonial or informal family affair, with or before meals. Later Egyptian doctors, in their medical papyri c. The making of wines and beers has been reported from several hundred preliterate societies. Fermentation can occur in any mashed sugar-containing food—such as grapes, grains, berries, or honey—left exposed in warm air.
This can lead to Wernicke-Korsakoff syndromea brain disorder that affects memory. In some cases a formalized public binge could serve to loosen interpersonal aggressions and allow an interlude of verbal or even physical hostility within the family or clan group that otherwise would be forbidden by the mores of the cohesive small society.
Fetal alcohol syndrome is not a rare occurrence; its prevalence in the United States in was reported to range from 0. For a discussion of pathologic states caused by alcohol consumption, see alcoholism.
People with certain medical conditions. Although the consumption of all alcoholic beverages generally rose during the second half of the 20th century, deviations from these general tendencies were evident in many countries.
Legal limits do not define a level below which it is safe to operate a vehicle or engage in some other activity. Regional Trends Looking at the published statistics, the highest consumption rates of alcohol seem to be concentrated in Europe and other places in the Northern Hemisphere of the globe.
Drinking alcoholic beverages is not an indication to stop breastfeeding; however, consuming more than one drink per day is not recommended.Moderate alcohol consumption may provide some health benefits, such as: Reduce your risk of developing and dying from heart disease Possibly reduce your risk of ischemic stroke (when the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow).
A review of overall trends between and indicated an increase in alcohol consumption of percent in the Northeast, percent in the Midwest, percent in the South, and percent. For more information on alcohol’s effects on the body, please see the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s related web page describing alcohol’s effects on.
The nations of Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, and Russia are among the countries who lead the way in terms of alcohol consumption by country.
rows · Map of countries by prevalence of alcohol consumption () The table. Read on to learn the effects of alcohol on your body. About 10 percent of all tuberculosis cases worldwide can be tied to alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol also increases your risk for.Download