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Today is Friday – For some of you that´s 5 days through the cleanse, some others a little longer.  Well done!  It’s suggested that you avoid alcohol for at least the first weekend of your cleanse to fully support your liver (intestines and kidneys too)!  This will also enable you to sleep more deeply and encourage healing and repair, which also strengthens your immunity.

Women’s bodies process alcohol at a slower rate than men, so the effects of alcohol are about twice that of one drink for men. So why are women more sensitive to the effects of alcohol?

  • Body Fat In general, women tend to weigh less than men and their bodies are composed of more fatty tissue and often, less water. Naturally, water dilutes alcohol, but fat retains it, concentrating the effects of alcohol in a woman’s system for a longer period of time.
  • Metabolism Women have lower levels of the enzymes alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase, which break down alcohol in the stomach and liver. Hormonal changes and levels during a woman’s menstrual cycle also have effects on the way alcohol is metabolised.

Here are some of the ways alcohol negatively impacts women’s health:

  • Weight Gain and Increased Appetite By suppressing the hunger regulating hormone leptin, alcohol can make you hungrier, and more likely to binge eat due to lowered inhibitions. It causes cortisol to spike which affects regular insulin signalling and can lead to insulin resistance.
  • Losing Focus Alcohol affects the body’s ability to regenerate. On average, the consumption of alcohol decreases the production of adult brain cells by as much as 40 percent, meaning the useful cells in your body are killed while the damaged ones are inhibited from repair.
  • Alcohol is a neurotoxin and after the age of 40 the blood brain barrier (BBB) gets thinner, so alcohol attacks cells more easily. Alcohol also causes this BBB to become leaky which is linked to multiple brain/body problems including MS, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Blood Pressure Spikes It may already be self-evident that alcohol causes your blood pressure to rise, but women are especially at a higher risk here. Research has shown that women who drank more than 10 units a week had a blood pressure level of 12 points higher than normal, twice as high as levels seen in men.
  • Cancer Women who drink alcohol may increase their risk for breast, and neck and head cancers.

A really interesting podcast to listen to about alcohol is this one by a renowned neuroscientist – Have a listen and let me know what you think 🙂

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