Janice Stanger, PhD

Janice Stanger, PhD

Posted December 2, 2012

Published in Health

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Why Meat Can Magnify the Dangers of Alcohol

Read More: alcohol, liver disease, phytonutrient, whole foods plant based diet

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Wine and Cheese May Be a Particularly Toxic Combination

Drinking too much over a period of years is even more deadly than smoking. Alcohol can damage your brain, liver, digestive system, and other body systems. A recent study found that death rates were twice as high for alcohol-dependent liver highlighted smaller.jpgmen and almost five times as high for alcohol-dependent women, compared to the general population. Some studies have found small amounts of alcoholic drinks to be protective of heart health, although this may be due to beneficial phytochemicals in the plants the drinks were made from.

You should consult your physician to determine the amount of alcohol (if any) it's best to set your limits at. The information in this article is educational and not intended to tell you whether you should drink or (if you do) how much; only a licensed health care professional who is familiar with your health history can do that.

Whatever your choice on consuming alcohol, you should know that that animal foods, such as meat and cheese, may boost the normal dangers of drinking by accelerating liver damage and inflammation. Even if you never consume alcohol, these animal foods may harm your liver, with a result similar to the effects of drinking.

Your liver is super at multi-tasking. This large organ filters and stores blood and forms key blood cells, is critical to metabolizing food and hormones, detoxifies drugs and chemicals, manufactures bile for digestion, and stockpiles vitamins and iron. You need a high-functioning liver for optimal health.

You may already be aware that alcohol can injure your liver, sometimes to the point where the damage is fatal over time. Here are six ways that mixing animal foods with alcohol may make that liver injury worse. Or you can look at it that alcohol is making the effects of animal foods more toxic. However you want to think of it, the point is that meat, cheese, and alcohol don't mix.

1. Endotoxins, which can cause destructive inflammation in your body, are poisonous substances in bacteria that are released when the bacteria die. Alcohol enables endotoxins in your gut to get into the bloodstream that flows to your liver, causing your liver to become inflamed. Animal foods are often dense with endotoxins, which are not destroyed by cooking. Thus, alcohol may increase the amount of meat and dairy endotoxins in your digestive system that reach and inflame your liver.

Click here to read more reasons that meat and alcohol don't mix