Excessive alcohol intakes are damaging to physical health and destructive to mental health. However, when moderated, alcohol can have a number of beneficial effects. One of the major effects of regular alcohol consumption is a beneficial effect on body weight. Studies consistently show that alcohol consumption is associated with weight loss and that those that consume alcohol are more likely to be of a lower body weight than those who do not. The reason for this is not fully understood, but it may relate to one of the other benefits of alcohol consumption. In this regard, alcohol may have a beneficial effect on the metabolism of omega-3 fatty acids. This relates to the way that alcohol may increase the conversion of alpha linolenic acid, the parent omega-3 fatty acid, to the bioactive form, eicosapentaenoic acid. As eicosapentaenoic acid can have beneficial effects on cell regulation, including causing a reduction in inflammation, this may in part explain some of the health benefits and weight loss effects of consuming alcohol.
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