For those of us fortunate to be dads, here are three fast facts to think about after Father’s Day or until the next one.
First, do you want more gray hair in next year’s bar-b-q photo? Gray hair is tied to genetics and just getting older… two things no dad can fight. But alcohol use also contributes to gray hair. It isn’t actually gray, its the melanin coloring the hair that gets depleted and alcohol use is a leading cause along with smoking and coffee. Alcohol raids the body’s B-vitamins. B-9, commonly called folic acid, is essential for melanin. By the way, hair loss, also is a gene thing, but hair loss is one of the lesser know side effects of alcohol use. Alcohol increases estrogen levels in both genders. High estrogen levels cause hair loss.
Second, the tire around dad’s middle will get worse with alcohol. Alcohol gets priority treatment in metabolism because it is a toxin. So whatever the body was metabolizing, like the last meal, gets shoved aside and stored as fat while the alcohol is metabolized. Some drinkers compensate by cutting calories elsewhere or working out more, but most just see the added belly fat. A quick fact here: Fat is the most calorie dense dietary component at nine calories per gram. Alcohol is number two at 7 calories per gram.
Third, and most serious of the three: Prostate health. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Alcohol is a carcinogen, linked to eight other cancers detailed in previous episodes, and prostate cancer was not one of the eight. However, alcohol is also a cancer antagonist. A carcinogen causes cancer, an antagonist creates favorable conditions for cancer growth. In a Harvard University study, men who drink had a twofold increased risk of prostate cancer compared to men with almost no alcohol consumption.
Three quick hits for Father’s Day, because we having dad look and feel healthy year round is way better than the alternative.