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In the first study of alcohol-related problems among Navy recruits, researchers at the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego say 54 percent of men and 47 percent of women they tested at the Recruit Training Center, Great Lakes, Ill., had histories of binge drinking.

These percentages are similar to those found in the general population by other surveys. Drinking is still a popular pursuit.

Next time you watch a movie, play this game. Time how long it takes for the heros (and villains) to take a drink. My times have come out about 5 minutes into the movie and children's movies are not exempt. In movies like the Muppets, characters are often seen drinking.

We worry about drugs daily but no one addresses the problem of Alcoholic beverages which may be the worst drug available. Alcohol is 'sold' to us by bogus medical studies (which have been disproven in Europe...hello?) showing that taking a drink a day can 'help our hearts'.

A recent solving of the French paradox may shed light on some of the other 'studies' showing the 'benefits' of alcohol. A French scientist proposed a simple solution to the paradox that although the French drink wine daily and eat a diet high in fat, there is less heart disease among the French. The French doctor discovered that most of the cases of heart disease were not reported in the study when he compared the numbers to WHO statistics.

The media portrays drinking as 'cool', and appropriate for all occasions i.e. to party, to relax, to de-stress, to celebrate, to sneak past parents and more. And if kids didn't need any more encouragement to drink, often parents who are dead against marijuana, stock a full compliment of Alcoholic beverages. A large percentage of kids have their first drink AT HOME from the parents store of liquor.

But what does drinking Alcoholic beverages _really_ do to your body?

A few brave voices have cried out. Susan Powter, in her book, SOBER AND STAYING THAT WAY states that drinking even small amounts of Alcoholic beverages can damage every cell of the body including kill brain cells.

My recent intense study of the workings of the digestive system reveals how this happens.

When we drink Alcoholic beverages, they are one of the few foods which is absorbed directly from the stomach. They go straight to the liver where the cells of the liver (hepatocytes) proceed to metabolize the alcohol. Unfortunately, during this process, a toxin is created and this toxin damages the very cells which metabolized the Alcohol! The toxin then circulates in the blood returning from the liver and that's how Alcoholic beverages can damage every cell in the body.

So much for the theory that Alcohol helps ANYTHING!

Alcohol abuse can cause a rather horrible condition called cirrhosis of the liver which is basically when the damage from the toxins resulting from the metabolism of Alcoholic beverages has caused overall damage of the organ. Cirrhosis can cause bodily shutdown. Not nice.

Alcohol is fattening. This is because of the rapid metabolism of the product, right from the stomach, bypassing the rest of the contents of the digestive system. While the toxins are damaging the liver and other cells, the high content of sugar is put out into the bloodstream, turning into fat.

I wonder if we would still drink after a study of the digestive system. Perhaps school children should be taught about the bodily systems and what damage is done by things commonly consumed like Alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is something we all can skip totally and help our bodies tremendously.

In other words, 'lose the booze'!