Although there is not an established minimum level of alcohol consumption that can be considered safe for all adults, it is also difficult to determine when alcohol consumption can begin to cause health problems. Each person’s body will handle alcohol consumption in a slightly different manner depending on age, overall health, metabolism, level of exercise and hereditary genetics. According to Wikipedia, the maximum recommended quantity for men is up to 210 grams per week, and up to 140 grams per week for women. We will explore the many possible outcomes of long-term excessive or chronic alcohol consumption on the human body.

One of the primary bodily organs affected by alcohol is the liver. The human liver performs hundreds of small functions and is a major part of the human digestive system. One of the many functions of the liver is to metabolize alcohol. The rate at which alcohol is metabolized is not affected by the rate at which alcohol is consumed. When alcohol is consumed in excess and cannot be metabolized as quickly as it is being added it begins to linger in the body causing intoxication. While the alcohol is actively flowing through the body before it is fully metabolized it will affect the brain, tissue and central nervous system.


Human LiverBeyond the temporary effects of high levels of alcohol in the system, there are also long-term effects caused by the presence of large amounts of alcohol in the liver. The three most common conditions are referred to as alcoholic liver disease. These conditions may occur simultaneously or separately.

The first condition is fatty liver, which entails having too many fat cells build up within your liver. This is the most mild of the alcoholic liver diseases and can usually be reversed by discontinuing alcohol consumption. As consumption decreases the fatty liver will begin to unwind.

The next possible condition is alcoholic hepatitis, which includes varying degrees of severity. A mild case might not exhibit any noticeable symptoms, whereas a heavy case can lead to complete and total failure of the liver. Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver, and can be measured by a medical doctor. Hepatitis treatments depend entirely upon the severity of the condition in each individual patient. Severe hepatitis can lead to death in some people.

The third alcoholic liver disease is alcoholic cirrhosis. This is a gradual process in which normal liver tissue is replaced by fibrosis (scar tissue). The presence of the scar tissue within the liver causes problems for the normally functioning liver cells, which can lead to their extinction. If you identify the cirrhosis at an early stage it is relatively simple to stop its progression by discontinuing alcohol consumption. If the cirrhosis is caught at a very late stage the only option for survival might be a liver transplant.

Besides liver diseases, alcohol might have harmful effects on many other bodily systems and functions. Excessive long-term alcohol consumption can lead to various neurological impairments, memory loss, Alzheimer’s and dementia, high blood pressure, obesity, nerve damage, depression, anxiety and addiction to name a few. The best advice is to consume alcohol in moderation. Remember that binge drinking (consuming large amounts in short periods of time and at spaced out intervals) is no better than regular daily drinking in lesser amounts. Alcohol should be a small part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

You will have a clearer picture of alcoholism when you start reading up on alcohol abuse facts in articles both online and otherwise.