Alcohol is one of a man’s best friends. It is perfect to put your mind at ease, can even make a night fun. Or, can be used to spice up a romantic evening, or is perfect to have on-hand during a football game. That said, some adverse side effects come along with alcohol too. The biggest of which is over-consumption, drunkenness, or alcoholism. But, just how much alcohol is too much?

In the United States, the CDC recommends for men no more than two drinks per day, and one drink for women. Herein roughly 0.6 ounces or 14 grams of pure alcohol compromises a drink. Alcohol consumption is a significant contributor to developing liver disease. In fact, lead investigator of a recent study, Hannes Hagström, explains how the study “showed that how much you drink in your late teens can predict the risk of developing cirrhosis later in life.”

What is Cirrhosis?

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, “Cirrhosis is a condition in which your liver is scarred,” and as the scarring deteriorates, the damage becomes permanent. What is more, “scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue and prevents your liver from working normally.” Ultimately, your liver begins to fail.

In the study mentioned above, researchers conducted a large-scale retrospective analysis to investigate the adverse effects of underage consumption of alcohol later in their life. While looking at the data, they also noted some disconcerting links connecting underage alcohol consumption and adverse health. The study posits that those who consumed alcohol as teenagers were more susceptible to developing liver disease. So, just how much is too much?

How Much is Too Much?

Alchohol consumption, in general, is a risk factor for liver disease, heart disease, and certain cancers. Now, there are concerns that international guidelines on safe drinking could be too lax and permissive. According to some experts, recommendations need amending because alcohol seems to affect men’s health more strongly than previously thought. What is more, a safe cut-off point is still unclear. Why? Because each man is different, and declaring a limit across the board would be ineffective.

So, when it comes to deciding how much is just too much, only you can choose. And remember, underage drinking is not to restrict your freedoms, instead, it intends to protect young men and women since their bodies are still growing.