Alcoholic beverages generally contain ethanol made from fermentation of sugars by yeast. The human liver can break down alcohol, which can be toxic on its own. Everyones liver operates at different speeds, but if the rate of consumption exceeds the rate of breakdown, alcohol poisoning can result. Alcohol dehydrogenase is the main enzyme that breaks down ethanol. Alcohol acts as a depressant and slows down the heart rate and lowers blood pressure as well as depressing the nervous system. The blood alcohol content (BAC) shows how much alcohol is in the bloodstream and is used as a legal limit for drinking and driving. Alcohol can also impact organs besides the liver including the brain, heart, stomach, and reproductive system. This lecture also covers hangovers and alcoholism.
Ethanol (ethyl alcohol) is that chemical that gets people drunk/intoxicated and it’s produced by fermentation of sugars by yeast
The liver has its own pace of alcohol breakdown and it is impacted by: alcohol dehydrogenase concentration, sex hormones, body mass, and medications
Alcoholic beverages include hard alcohol (liquors), wine, and beer; their specific alcohol percentage varies
Alcohol is a depressant and its concentration in the bloodstream impacts how intoxicated a person is
Over time, alcohol has negative impacts on every organ system
Hangovers occur due to dehydration, acetaldehyde, and congeners
Numerous health problems result from alcohol abuse, such as alcoholism, alcohol poisoning, fatty liver, cirrhosis, and liver cancer
Did you know…
Q: Is it possible to be allergic to drinking alcohol?
A: Yes, some people have genetic factors that make their body react negatively to imbibing alcoholic beverages. Other environmental factors like prescription drug use can have an effect on the body’s reaction and tolerance with respect to ethanol.
Alcohol: Effects & Dangers
Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.
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