In your blood, alcohol raises your level of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs), although not necessarily the specific good ones that carry cholesterol out of your body. (For more about lipoproteins, see Chapter 7.) Alcohol also makes blood less likely to clot, temporarily reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Alcohol makes blood vessels expand, so more warm blood flows up from the center of your body to the surface of the skin. You feel warmer for a while and, if your skin is fair, you may flush and turn pink. (Asians, who — you may remember from a few paragraphs back — tend to make less alcohol dehydro-genase than do Caucasians, often experience a characteristic flushing when they drink even small amounts of alcohol.) At the same time, tiny amounts of alcohol ooze out through your pores, and your perspiration smells of alcohol.
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