Everything in moderation has always been my philosophy, and when it comes to beer drinking and the effects of beer consumption on your health, nothing rings more true. From as far back as the early 1900's the effect of beer consumption on a person's health has been a hot and contentious subject.
Consensus currently amongst medical practitioners is that alcoholic consumption in moderation can contribute to the longevity of a person's life. Moderation is considered to be anything from 1-4 standard alcoholic drinks a day. Taking this into consideration it would be fair to assume that 1-2 beers a day should place no harmful effects on your body, and indeed, may contribute to better health and a longer lifespan. Alcohol consumption on a moderate and consistent intake over a long period of time has been found to help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, help offset the possibility of contracting age related diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and pancreatic cancer.
However, binge drinking of any type of alcohol, beer included, is well documented as to having severe adverse effects on a person's health. It is considered a direct cause of brain damage and/or impediment to normal brain development. There is also the risk of alcohol poisoning which can have the adverse side effects of slurred speech, blurred double vision, stupor and even hypothermia. It can cause astute gastritis, vomiting, metabolic complications and even death. Socially, binge drinking can cause you to have the inability to make reasoned decisions, reduce your ability to assess risk, and often will lead you into violent confrontations and an increased risk of putting not only yourself but also others in harm's way. Moreover, continuous binge drinking is likely to lead to alcoholism.
Alcoholism is considered to be when you drink more than approximately 15 drinks a week, every week. It is a significant social problem and has serious health side effects. It can lead to brain damage and brain degeneration, cirrhosis of the liver, nerve damage, heart and muscle damage, not to mention the physiological affects including insomnia, depression, and suicide. Alcoholism has been, and still is, one of society's biggest health and social issues.
If you choose to drink, therefore, it must be in moderation. If consumed in moderation, beer is likely to have a positive effect on your health and the longevity of your life, not to mention its enhancement of any social situation. Beer consumption, if taken to the extreme of binge drinking or even alcoholism, will have a negative impact on your health, your social skills, and indeed, the overall longevity of your life. Drink beer in moderation and reap the benefits.