Pausing is also valuable for the pancreas

The brain, the liver, the heart: all organs that are happy with your alcohol break. Just one more to this list to add; your pancreas will also be happier. It's nice that one break does all those organs good. Back to the pancreas. What about alcohol and the pancreas?

The pancreas – also known as the pancreas – is a large gland located partly behind the stomach and duodenum. The main functions of this gland are to regulate the level of sugar in the blood and to promote digestion. Excessive drinking has a negative effect on the functioning of this organ.

Chronic pancreatitis

When the pancreas becomes inflamed, we speak of pacreatitus. When these inflammations keep coming back, we are dealing with chronic pancreatitis. The latter is common in people who drink alcohol excessively. Chronic pancreatitis manifests itself after six to twelve years of excessive drinking. Additional problems include diabetes, vitamin deficiency and jaundice.

Increased risk of pancreatic cancer

Research shows (Mirjam Heinen, Maastricht University), that there is a link between drinking three or more alcoholic drinks per day and an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. Excessive drinkers are one and a half times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than a total abstainer. Mirjam Heinen: “There are indications that alcohol consumption could cause pancreatic cancer in a number of ways. Alcohol abuse is a known risk factor of chronic pancreatitis; chronic inflammation of the pancreas. And this is another known risk factor of pancreatic cancer. Alcohol is also converted into various substances, including acetaldehyde. These substances appear to be carcinogenic to the pancreas. In addition, this conversion of alcohol into acetaldehyde can also produce products, such as oxygen radicals, which can cause damage to the cell's DNA.” (source: www.kennisinstituurnier.nl)

Lifestyle Advice

Because not enough is known about the development of pancreatic cancer, it is impossible to say what can prevent the disease. It is true that lifestyle advice can contribute to a reduction in the mortality rate from pancreatic cancer among the Dutch population. For example, it is not advisable to stop smoking or not, but a healthy weight, being physically active and moderate alcohol consumption also contribute to a healthy life.

 

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