Drinking beer is a common past time at colleges and universities, at sporting events, at Superbowl parties and on the weekends. For many men and women, beer is a significant part of unwinding from work or from the anxieties of their life. And for millions of Americans beer can equate to spending time with friends, having a good time, and enjoying life.

Unfortunately, research points to the significant dangers of beer drinking. The following is a list of health risks that can accompany regular beer drinking:

  • –According to Kaiser Permanente, those who drink three or more beers per day have a 70% higher risk of developing lung cancer than those who do not. And even those who drink three or more alcoholic drinks other than beer only have a 30% risk of developing lung cancer.
  • –According to Britain’s Center for Crime and Justice Studies, harmful behaviors that are associated with alcohol addiction and abuse are almost 3 times as harmful to families, friends, and society compared to the harmful behaviors associated with cocaine or tobacco addictions.
  • –According to the National Institute on Alcohol and Alcoholism, binge drinking beer leads to 1,825 deaths and 599,000 injuries among American college students. Beer binge drinking also leads to 696,000 assaults and 97,000 sexual assaults.
  • –According to the Defeat Diabetes Foundation, beer and other forms of alcohol have been associated with insulin resistance in men, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders in infants of mothers who drink while pregnant, and memory problems in teens.
  • –According to the World Health Organization, German and Italian beers contain an amount of arsenic that is 2 to 4 times the amount considered to be safe.

Furthermore, a recent research study revealed that the effects of the taste of beer on a person’s brain, possibly causes cravings for more alcohol.

The research study used 49 male participants of good physical and psychological health with an average age of 25. The participants were asked to taste about a half an ounce of their favorite beer and then also taste a half of an ounce of Gatorade. The study found that compared to Gatorade, beer significantly increased a participant’s desire to drink alcohol. These desires were self-reported by the participants. Alongside this, however, brain scans revealed the release of dopamine with the small taste of beer.

In this study, researchers found that a person’s sensory cues are associated with certain parts of the brain that may trigger the release of dopamine. Their consumption of the beer sample triggered a release of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Experts in the field of addiction and recovery have known that alcohol addiction usually shows a significant increase in dopamine in the brain as well as the presence of glutamate, the brain’s excitatory chemical.  The release of dopamine with the consumption of beer only increases the probably that a person will continue to drink, and possibly develop an alcohol addiction.

If you or someone you know is drinking beer on a consistent basis, you may be at risk for the above listed health issues. And drinking beer, according to the study, may only cause cravings for more beer. In order to prevent alcohol addiction or medical concerns, such as alcohol poisoning or any of the issues listed above, contact a mental health professional today.

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