By Dr. Sankar Nath Jha, Endocrinology
Alcohol can cause a variety of health problems for both men and women. It is especially bad for pregnant women and the babies. This is because alcohol reaches the baby through the placenta and this may cause abnormal facial features, a low birth weight and even heart defects in your baby. This is why pregnant women should not have alcohol till child birth. However, having said that, there are safe limits for men and women, the limit which you should never cross. Here is everything you need to know about recommended safe limits of alcohol consumption for men and women:
Men should not exceed 14 units of alcohol consumption per week. The alcohol should not be consumed at once and should not be had at least two days in a week.
Women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, these units should be spread out through the week and they should have at least two alcohol-free days a week.
Pregnant women or women trying to conceive should not drink alcohol at all. If they do choose to drink, to minimise the risk to the baby, they should not drink more than 1-2 units of alcohol once or twice a week and should never get drunk.
What is a unit of alcohol?
A unit of alcohol is 10 ml or 8 g of pure alcohol. You can calculate how much alcohol you are consuming by multiplying how many litres you drank with the percentage of alcohol the drink had.
What happens if you exceed this limit?
Alcohol leads to a multitude of common health problems including liver damage, cancer, depression, anxiety, sexual problems, Muscle and heart muscle disease, nervous tissue damage, High blood pressure, Obesity (alcohol is calorie-rich), and many more. Drunken driving results in a large number of road accident cases every year as well.