What Alcohol Does to Your Body, Brain & Health | Huberman Lab Podcast #86

Timestamps
00:00:00 Effects of Alcohol Consumption
00:02:25 Momentous Supplements
00:03:19 Low to Moderate Alcohol Consumption & Neurodegeneration
00:06:52 Levels, Eight Sleep, ROKA
00:10:46 Historical Context & Uses of Alcohol
00:13:28 Alcohol Metabolism, “Empty Calories”
00:18:23 Inebriation: Top-Down Inhibition, Impulsivity & Memory Formation
00:24:23 Long-Lasting Effects & Impulsivity, Neuroplasticity & Reversibility
00:27:55 Food & Alcohol Absorption
00:30:07 Alcohol & Serotonin, SSRIs & Depression, Risk for Alcoholism, Blackouts
00:37:39 Predisposition for Alcoholism; Chronic Consumption, Cortisol & Stress
00:44:53 AG1 (Athletic Greens)
00:46:07 Genetic Predisposition for Alcoholism, Consuming Alcohol Too Young
00:52:27 Gut-Liver-Brain Axis: Alcohol, Gut Microbiome, Inflammation & Leaky Gut
00:59:46 Tool: Improving/Replenishing Gut Microbiome
01:02:44 Reducing Alcohol Consumption & Stress
01:04:25 Hangover: Alcohol & Sleep, Anxiety, Headache
01:12:11 Hangover Recovery, Adrenaline & Deliberate Cold Exposure
01:17:16 Hangover Recovery, Dehydration & Electrolytes
01:20:45 Types of Alcohol & Hangover Severity, Congeners
01:25:25 Alcohol Tolerance, Dopamine & Serotonin, Pleasure-Pain Balance
01:33:36 Are There Any Positive Effects of Alcohol?, Resveratrol
01:35:42 Alcohol & Brain Thickness
01:37:11 Alcohol & Cancer Risk: DNA Methylation, Breast Cancer Risk
01:44:31 Mitigating Cancer Risk, Folate, B Vitamins
01:46:54 Alcohol & Pregnancy, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
01:50:58 Hormones: Testosterone & Estrogen Balance
01:55:09 Negative Effects of Alcohol Consumption

In this episode, I discuss the physiological effects that drinking alcohol has on the brain and body at different levels of consumption and over time. I also describe genetic differences that predispose certain individuals to alcoholism, binge and habit-drinking. I explain alcohol metabolism in simple terms and how it effectively acts as a poison, leading to cellular stress and damage. I then explain that it impacts neuronal function and changes our thinking and behavior – hallmarks of inebriation. I also discuss how alcohol consumption of different amounts impacts inflammation, stress, neurodegeneration, and cancer risk and negatively impacts the gut microbiome, brain thickness, hormone balance, mood and feelings of motivation. Additionally, I discuss the biology of hangovers and describe science-based strategies to mitigate the severity of a hangover. Since alcohol is one of the most widely consumed recreational substances, this episode ought to be of relevance to everyone. Indeed, even low-to-moderate alcohol consumption negatively impacts the brain and body in direct ways. The goal of this episode is to help people make informed decisions about their alcohol consumption that are in keeping with their mental and physical health goals.