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Some studies associate moderate alcohol intake, one per day, with less risk of heart disease. However there are many effective alternatives to reducing heart disease without the addition of alcohol.

Alcohol is a drug that depresses the brain. We all know the cheeriness that can come with the first drink, but alcohol can actually cause severe depression. Alcohol has no vitamin or mineral content, but plenty of calories.

If you are a heavy drinker, alcohol will be doing damage to parts of the body you cannot see. Some long term effects of drinking:

  • Liver disease
  • Obesity
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure

If you have any questions your doctor will happily discuss individual queries regarding lowering the risk of coronary heart disease and especially 'bad' cholesterol.

Below is a table which indicates how your weight can be affected by regular drinking. An occasional drink as part of a calorie controlled diet is better than a drink in addition to your diet.

Drink  Calories  No. of alcohol units 
1 pint of lager/beer  180 - 300  2 units 
1 glass of wine  100  1 unit 
1 vodka and orange  140  1 unit  
1 gin and tonic  140  1 unit  
1 whisky and dry ginger  145  1 unit  
1 rum and coke  145  1 unit  

In recent years the number of people who drink and drive has decreased dramatically with education and legislation. Alcohol is still a major cause of road traffic accidents.

If you are pregnant every time you have an alcoholic drink your baby is getting one too.


If you are concerned about your alcohol intake or that of a relative or friend, the surgery will be able to advise you on a safe course of action.

Call Alcoholics Anonymous Helpline on 0845 769 7555.

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