THE ALCOHOL MANIFESTO
Consumption of alcohol provokes an unhealthy psychological response by reducing inhibitions—thus making it all the easier to make poor food choices when under the influence of even small amounts of alcohol. Furthermore, the effects on the brain carry over until the next day, which means a drink or three on a Friday night may lead to a weekend’s worth of junk food. And remember how sugar is “empty calories”? Alcohol is nearly twice as calorie-dense, with no micronutrition to speak of.
From a hormonal perspective, alcohol consumption interferes with glucose regulation (disturbing normal blood sugar levels), in part by disrupting the action of regulatory hormones like insulin and glucagon. That disruption can promote systemic inflammation, a root cause of many lifestyle diseases and conditions. In addition, acute and chronic alcohol consumption are also known to alter some reproductive hormone levels.
Alcohol, even moderate amounts, has been shown to alter the balance of gut bacteria, potentially contributing to dysbiosis. Since the delicate balance of gut bacteria have a tremendous impact on our overall health, anything (including alcohol consumption) that disrupts that balance can impact long-term health in a negative way.
Finally, alcohol is acutely neurotoxic, even in small amounts, altering the normal activity of your nervous system, causing damage to nerve tissue, and disrupting or even killing neurons, the cells that transmit and process signals in the brain and other parts of the nervous system.