The holidays are here and so are the parties along with family gatherings filled with great food, fun, and maybe more than a few drinks. Here are some great reminders on how you can keep your holidays swinging and safe at the same time.

1) How much is too much alcohol?

For men, a moderate amount of alcohol equates to no more than two drinks per day and for women; one drink per day. One drink equals: One 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, One 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80- proof distilled spirits. According to the National Institute of Health, drinking more than a moderate amount can increase the risk of injury, stroke, high blood pressure, depression,
and cancer. Remember that in both genders, as you age, you are less likely to adapt as quickly or process alcohol and it may have a longer effect on you than previously remembered.

2) I heard that red wine was good for you. What are the pros and cons of alcohol consumption?

Moderate red wine consumption (one glass for women, two glasses for men) has been correlated with a reduction of cardiovascular disease. Resveratrol, a potent antioxidant found in the skins of red wine grapes, may be one of the benefits of drinking red wine. However, once you surpass the “moderate” consumption level and into the “heavy” category, those health benefits drop steeply and health risks such as liver disease, stroke, and high blood pressure increase sharply, not to mention the potential for addiction. Also, alcohol depresses the immune system, which can lead to increased susceptibility of colds and flu.

3) What is the best way to recover from a hangover?

The best way is to not get to the point of having a hangover in the first place. That said, here is what NOT to do. Do not use Tylenol or other liver toxic pain medications to reduce hangover symptoms such as a headache. Tylenol can exacerbate the damage the alcohol has already done to the liver. Other medications such as antidepressants should not be used in conjunction with alcohol
as well. The safest way to recover from a hangover is to drink plenty of water, take a shower or an Epsom salt bath to help detox and pull in water through your skin, replenish your body with easy to digest food such as chicken or beef broth, and to rest your body.

4) I had too much fun and drank way too much. How do I start to recover and detox from it all?

Now that the fun’s over, it’s time to safely detox from overindulgence. Your liver is the main detoxifier in the body and especially after a hard workout, it needs a tune up. Alcohol and medications can use up your stores of glutathione and B vitamins such as methylcobalamine (B12) and thiamine (B1). Repletion of glutathione and B vitamins
as well as herbs such as milk thistle and taraxicum root are traditionally included as a part of a well rounded liver cleans program. Make a medically supervised detox program part of your New Year’s resolution to help shed those extra pounds and start up the New Year with a clean body and healthy mindset.

Answers provided by Dr. Sonja Fung at the Live Well Clinic located at 78900 Avenue 47, Ste 102 in La Quinta, CA. If you would like more information or have any health related question, please call 760-771-5970, email info@livewellclinic.org or visit www.livewellclinic.org

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