Endocrinologists and health physicians have warned that excessive consumption of alcohol may damage the liver, heart and kidney, stressing that no amount of it is safe for human health.

Caution: Excessive Alcohol Consumption May Damage Liver, Heart and Other’s

Endocrinologists and health physicians have warned that excessive consumption of alcohol may damage the liver, heart and kidney, stressing that no amount of it is safe for human health.

According to medical experts, the dangers associated with alcohol consumption have been systematically evaluated and documented over the years, and it was found that no level of its consumption is safe.

The World Health Organisation states that, alcohol is a toxic, psychoactive, and dependence-producing substance, which has been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer decades ago.

WHO revealed that alcohol causes at least seven types of cancer, including the most common types -bowel and breast cancer.

It further noted it is among the highest-risk group, and that others include asbestos, radiation and tobacco.

WHO added “Ethanol (alcohol) causes cancer through biological mechanisms as the compound breaks down in the body, which means that any beverage containing alcohol, regardless of its price and quality, poses a risk of developing cancer,”.

The global health body noted that the risk of developing cancer increases substantially the more alcohol is consumed and that available data indicate that half of all alcohol-attributable cancers in the WHO European Region are caused by ‘light’ and ‘moderate’ alcohol consumption.

“Less than 1.5 litres of wine or less than 3.5 litres of beer or less than 450 millilitres of spirits per week is harmful. This drinking pattern is responsible for the majority of alcohol-attributable breast cancers in women, with the highest burden observed in countries within the European Union.

“In the EU, cancer is the leading cause of death with a steadily increasing incidence rate and the majority of all alcohol attributable deaths are due to different types of cancers,” the UN agency added.

A Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Olufemi Fasanmade, said when people consume excess alcoholic beverages, it damages their liver, kidneys and heart.

The Consultant Endocrinologist at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, said, “We will have to find a way to tell them these things. Even those who want to drink should drink in moderation.

“We advocate that the government put high taxes on harmful beverages in Nigeria and when it is expensive, people will look away from them. This would serve as a deterrent as people who don’t have excess money will not go for it.

“However, reduction in alcohol consumption will help people with certain health challenges to lead a positive life without facing a worsening situation that could be linked to alcohol consumption.”

According to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, diseases that could be worsened by alcohol consumption include high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems.

Others listed by the US CDC include cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, oesophagus, liver, colon, and rectum.

The agency noted that this would lead to weakening of the immune system, which may increase one’s chances of getting sick due to compromised immunity.

Meanwhile, a Professor of Public Health at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Kwara State, Tanimola Akande said alcohol consumption is related to certain non-communicable diseases.

He said that reduction in alcohol consumption will to some extent, lead to a reduction in the disease burden attributable to alcohol consumption.

Furthermore,he added, “Alcohol consumption has been shown to increase risky sexual behavior, which may lead to sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies. So, reduction in its consumption would invariably lead to a further reduction in these cases,” .