How the Liver Metabolizes AlcoholThe liver is the only organ in your body that can metabolize alcohol. Enzymes secreted by liver cells recognize alcohol as a toxin. In an attempt to break it down, one enzyme in particular, acetate dehydrogenase, transmutes alcohol into a substance known as acetaldehyde. Unfortunately, acetaldehyde is even more toxic than alcohol and it's damage is not limited to the liver. Acetaldehyde can combine with liver proteins to form toxic compounds that impair other cellular components and enzymes in the body. Eventually, acetaldehyde is metabolized into acetate which metabolizes into carbon dioxide and, finally, water. Your body then discharges this stuff through the lungs, urine, and perspiration.
How Alcohol Affects the LiverThe Liver Center of Excellence, Virginia Mason Medical Center doesn't mince words in their analysis, stating that alcohol consumption is often a factor in chronic liver diseases and may exacerbate liver problems. Alcohol increases inflammation in the liver and accelerates fibrosis. Or, rather, scarring. To top it off, alcohol increases the risk for liver cancer and death from liver disease.  Although the liver is the primary target, to a degree, regular alcohol consumption irreparably damages nearly every organ.  Alcohol offers no nutritional value to the body, yet it is high in empty calories which provide no nutritional benefit to the body. Alcohol is converted to fat that accumulates in the liver and, to a degree, all who consume alcohol will get fat deposits. Fatty liver can progress to alcoholic hepatitis which can progress to cirrhosis. 
Your Liver May Be Getting a BeatingThink it only happens to other people? Think again. It's sobering to learn that alcohol-induced liver damage is usually not evident. The liver has the capacity to regenerate and surviving with only 10-20% of liver function isn't unheard of. Liver efficacy on a constant decline can sometimes cause the symptoms of liver disease unnoticed until it has progressed substantially How many people probably thought their alcohol consumption was harmless- only to later be shocked by a liver disease diagnosis? Balancing the pleasures of today with the consequence of tomorrow is a delicate scale.
3 Things You Can Do Immediately
- Stop drinking alcohol.
- Eat foods that known to support the liver.
- Perform a full liver cleansing to combat the effect of toxins on your liver.
- Lee M, Kowdley KV. Alcohol's effect on other chronic liver diseases. Clin Liver Dis. 2012 Nov;16(4):827-37. doi: 10.1016/j.cld.2012.08.010. Review.
- Ströhle A, Wolters M, Hahn A. [Alcohol intake--a two-edged sword. Part 1: metabolism and pathogenic effects of alcohol]. Med Monatsschr Pharm. 2012 Aug;35(8):281-92; quiz 293-4. Review. German.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.