The CEO of Medicas Hospital, Dr Yaw Osafo, has stressed the need for people to refrain from taking alcohol.

According to the Clinical Biochemistry and Metabolic Medicine specialist, there’s no health benefit to drinking alcohol.

Contributing to a discussion on stroke and hypertension on Joy FM‘s Super Morning Show on Thursday, he was categorical that alcohol is detrimental to one’s health.

“I always say that there’s no good reason to start if you don’t drink now. This is because alcohol, apart from its social benefits – i.e. drinking alcohol is a social phenomenon – but it doesn’t have any health benefits,” he stated.

Nonetheless, he noted that “if anyone who wants to use alcohol, should do it responsibly, in order not to abuse it.”

Dr Yaw Osafo stated that excessive intake of alcohol can also increase one’s risk of developing hypertension and stroke.

He also mentioned stress as part of the risk factors for developing these conditions.

“Stress indirectly contributes to the elevation in blood pressure, especially when we talk about ischemic stroke. With hypertension, when the body undergoes any kind of stress, be it physical or emotional, one can develop this condition.

He explained that “anytime we are under stress, our body has a natural mechanism to help us deal with it. It releases what we call stress hormones, for example, cortisol.

“Cortisol is a steroid hormone, and steroids, generally, if you have them in large quantities, will elevate your blood pressure.

“So it is good to have the stress hormone in our bodies for short periods, but if the stress becomes an everyday thing for you, then it means we will have high levels of the stress hormones in your body all the time. This will significantly contribute to you developing hypertension,” he added.

Touching on mechanisms to prevent these conditions, he advised against smoking and other detrimental habits to one’s health.

He mentioned that exercising regularly and healthy eating (which means one’s meals should contain a lot of fruits and vegetables) are all ways of preventing these conditions.