Chronic abuse of alcohol has a negative effect on Ca²+ATPase in the heart, brain, skeletal muscle, pancreas, and liver In utero, chronic alcohol exposure has a negative effect on Ca2²+ATPase levels in the heart, and brain (which can impair cognitive development such as in fetal alcohol syndrome). The longer the period of time that alcohol is consumed by the mother, pre- and postnatally (during lactation) the greater the negative effect on Ca2²+ATPase.
Key takeaways: Moderate drinking is the way to go
- For women this means approximately one drink a day; for men two drinks a day.
- Excessive drinking; 4 or more drinks in one sitting may have a negative effect on Ca²+ATPase (in addition to a wide range of other problems including heart disease and cancer.)
Special Note for Pregnant Women
The risks associated with alcohol consumption increase with pregnant women. “When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, so does her baby.” Fetuses are rapidly growing and forming every single day, and alcohol can disrupt the process, sometimes with lifelong neurological and behavioral disabilities. It does not make sense to expose a developing baby to a substance that may inhibit Ca²+ATPase in there developing brains.