Alcohol & Health

See the NIH resources on drinking (Rethinking Drinking) for

  • information
  • tools
  • guidance.

People drink to socialize, celebrate, and relax. Alcohol often has a strong effect on individuals, and throughout history, humans have struggled to understand and manage alcohol’s power.

  • Why does alcohol cause us to act and feel differently?
  • How much is too much?
  • Why do some people become addicted while others do not?

Alcohol enters one’s bloodstream as soon as you take your first sip.

  • Alcohol’s immediate effects can appear within about 10 minutes.
  • As one drinks, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) increases.
  • The higher the BAC, the more impaired one becomes due to the effects of alcohol.
  • People who drink too much over a long period of time may experience longer-term effects, such as
    • alcohol dependence
    • organ injury
    • increased risk for certain cancers.

Alcohol-induced organ injury can involve nearly every organ/system in the body. The ULARC is specifically studying nutrition and liver, intestine, lung, and fetal injury.

Alcohol in the US

Alcohol & Nutrition