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Alcohol: Effects & Dangers

  • 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.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Ethanol 0:06
    • Made from Alcohol Fermentation
    • Human Liver Can Break Down Ethyl Alcohol
    • Other Alcohols
  • Ethanol Metabolism 3:33
    • Alcohol Dehydrogenase Converts Ethanol to Acetaldehyde
    • Acetaldehyde is Converted to Acetate
    • Factors Affecting the Pace
    • Sex and Sex Hormones
    • Body Mass
    • Medications
  • Types of Alcoholic Beverages 6:07
    • Hard Alcohol
    • Wine
    • Beer
    • Mixed Drinks
  • Alcohol's Immediate Effects 8:55
    • Depressant
    • Blood Alcohol Concentration
    • 100 mg/ dL = 0.1%
    • 0.05
    • 0.1
    • 0.2
    • 0.3
  • Alcohol's Effects on Organs 13:45
    • Brain
    • Heart
    • Stomach
    • Liver
    • Reproductive System
  • Misconceptions on Alcohol Intoxication 14:54
    • Cannot Speed Up the Liver's Breakdown of Alcohol
    • Passing Out
    • Binge Drinking
  • Hangovers 18:40
    • Alcohol Tolerance
    • Acetaldehyde
    • Dehydration
    • Congeners
    • Ethanol is Still in Bloodstream
  • Alarming Statistics 22:26
    • Alcoholism Affects 10+ Million People in U.S. Alone
    • Society's Most Expensive Health Problem
    • Affects All Physiological Tissues
    • Women Drinking While Pregnant
    • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
    • Genetics
  • Health Problems Related to Alcohol 24:57
    • Alcohol Abuse
    • Alcohol Poisoning
    • Alcoholism
    • Fatty Liver
    • Cirrhosis

Transcription: Alcohol: Effects & Dangers

Hi welcome back to

This is a lesson on alcohol effects and dangers.0002

The alcohol that people drink when they are enjoying alcoholic beverages is actually called ethanol or ethyl alcohol.0006

Some ethanol is what is in beer, wine and hard alcohol etc.0014

It is made from alcohol fermentation with yeast.0019

If you look at how breweries make their beer.0023

How wineries making their wine?0026

It is yeast.0031

There a lot different types of yeast sometimes they are actively adding yeast to make it happen.0032

But even like beers out there that just use natural fungi happened to be there what ever plant product there try to ferment.0041

But typically adding active yeast.0051

Yeast do alcohol for fermentation rather than lactic acid from fermentation like we do.0055

Alcohol is kind of like the waste product of yeast as they are metabolizing sugars.0061

A multitude of plant parts can be used to make it ethanol.0068

As long as sugar is present.0072

Wine is not just grapes but you can make wine out of plums.0074

You can make wine out of apples you could do it.0079

As long as of the plant part has significant amount of sugar to supply yeast with glucose so it can speed up the alcohol.0084

The reason why grapes is common for making wines is grapes have a really high amount of sugar in them compare to some other fruits.0092

Human liver, the human liver is really what is affected the most by alcohol.0100

It can break down ethyl alcohol or ethanol at a particular pace.0105

Everyone’s pace is ever so slightly different.0109

You can look up averages in terms of like how much alcohol can the liver breakdown per hour.0114

Different people will have slightly different paces.0120

If you are wondering why can a DY when they only drink such and such amount of beer.0124

It is hard to predict how fast your liver breaks it down.0130

This is ethanol.0135

This is a representation of the molecule of ethanol.0138

It has two carbons.0141

It has the OH of the side here that is a part of the reason it is called an alcohol.0142

This is what is broken down in the liver.0147

This is toxic.0150

It is a poison that sounds odd to say but that is why we have a term alcohol poisoning.0153

It is a matter how much of this is in your bloodstream.0158

Similar with arsenic or cyanide those are poisons but you can find traces of arsenic just tiny amounts in the human body.0161

What makes arsenic poisonous is if you are exposed to enough of it is the same with alcohol.0171

Alcohol is little bit of time is not big deal but a lot of overexposure can definitely kill a person.0176

Other alcohols are out there.0186

The ethanol is one kind of alcohol.0187

Propenol you may have heard isopropyl alcohol, rubbing alcohol it will be this.0189

It is not recommended to drink that.0196

It is something that we used to help with get rid of bacteria in cleaning a wound site.0198

Methanol is actually it is poisonous if you drink ethanol it can result to liver failure.0205

How is ethanol metabolize?0214

How is it broken down in a liver?0215

Alcohol dehydrogenase is the main player.0218

This is the enzyme that starts to break apart ethanol.0223

Initially alcohol dehydrogenase in the liver converts ethanol into acetaldehyde.0228

You are going to hear more about acetaldehyde later on this lesson related to hangovers.0236

Acetaldehyde is converted to acetate by other enzymes and eventually broken down CO2 into water.0240

Acetaldehyde is not that final product.0247

There are other enzymes that break it down even further.0249

The acetates long-term become CO2 and water.0253

Of course you exhale CO2 and water can hang around eventually you are going to urinate it out.0257

Other factors affecting the pace.0265

It is not just how much alcohol dehydrogenase you have.0267

There are other things that can affect it.0271

Sex and sex hormones.0272

Studies have shown time and time again that if you took a thousand random men and random women0275

and have them all drink the same amount of alcohol over the same amount of time and then you took their BAC, their blood alcohol concentration.0281

You are going to hear more about this in a bit.0291

On average for that amount of alcohol over that period of time men would have a slightly lower BAC than women.0294

We are talking a separation of .01 of the BAC.0301

For that amount of alcohol may be the average man has .06 but the average female has .07.0306

That most likely is related to slightly different amount of alcohol dehydrogenase in the liver.0315

It is not true for everyman and everywoman it is a statistical kind of average.0321

The specific amount of sex hormones in your body has something to do with it.0326

Body mass it means someone who has twice the mass as mean.0331

Ways twice as much as we sat down and drink the same amount of alcohol over the same amount of time.0337

I am going to have a higher BAC.0344

My liver is smaller I have probably less blood in my body than that person.0346

That of course has an impact to.0351

Someone who is significantly larger is going to probably have a lower blood alcohol concentration.0353

Medications can get in the way of the liver effectively breaking it down at the pace than it normally does.0359

Types of alcohol beverages.0368

This is not all of them but these are the three big ones.0370

Hard alcohol a lot of the time when we are looking at vodka, rhum, tequila etc. You are going to see that it is 40% ethanol by volume0374

And proof when you see this 80 proof that is percentage of alcohol divided by 2.0383

A lot of hard alcohols are 80 proof, 90 proof, 150 proof or more.0388

You are not going to see alcohol for sale that is 200 proof that is pure ethanol.0395

Pure ethanol is not very stable and drinking that would be crazy.0401

That is way too concentrated.0406

The majority of them are closer to 80 proof.0408

Wine on average is about 12 to 15% ethanol.0411

Beer are most close to 5 but some other 4. Or whatever.0415

Beers can get to 8% to 10% ethanol by volume and the rest is everything else, the water that is in it.0421

The other products of fermentation, the hops and barley all those things that affect the beer and its flavor.0430

One more thing hard alcohol, one drink of hard alcohol is supposed to be an ounce and half of a shot glass.0442

One drink of wine is supposed to be about 5 ounces not full enough wineglass to pour up to the rim.0452

That is a lot more than a typical glass of wine.0460

Beer is typically 12 ounces of a can.0462

The misconception a lot of people have is they will go to a bar or restaurant and order something like this long island iced.0468

This is a goblet full I do not know how many ounces that is exactly but I am guessing it is somewhere between 5 and 12.0477

Maybe it is 10.0485

This 10 ounce glass a long island ice tea has 4 kinds of hard alcohol on it.0487

I am guessing they are not pouring a quarter shot of each.0494

People have one drink, one mixed drink and that is actually more like 3 or 4 drinks that you just had.0497

Somebody go to bar have a long island ice tea and they can drive but they not.0506

Even if they weight 250 pounds they probably would have a higher BAC than what is legal.0512

The amount of beverage you are consuming is not always correlated with this, the amount of hard alcohol that is in it0517

or the size of the glass of wine you poured can have impact on how high BAC is going to be.0527

It also depends on how fast you drink it.0533

Alcohol immediate effects.0536

Alcohol is a depressant.0538

Initially when you first start drinking, psychologically you might be excited if you are out with your friends and0540

your heart rate might be higher, your blood pressure will be higher especially if you are telling animated story.0548

Alcohol the effects of it as you put it in the body has a depressing effect.0553

Too much alcohol in the body is going to be significantly lower your heart rate and blood pressure.0559

Depress the ability of your nervous system your higher brain and your brain functions in general.0566

BAC, like I have mentioned before is blood alcohol concentration.0571

In the United States .08 is the legal limit for driving.0575

You could be given a DUI at .08 but sometimes they will let it slide but of course 0.09 and higher you will definitely getting a DUI.0579

It is dangerous to be behind the wheel when you are at that level.0590

Even if psychologically you think you are good you are not even aware of how much you are impaired at the point.0593

Your ability to focus and multi-task and to coordinate your body activities when you are behind a potentially deadly machine and is not quite at the part.0601

Actually back in the day it used to not be 0.08 in every state but now it is.0612

How they figure out of the BAC?0620

100mg per deciliter of alcohol in terms of its weight inside of this volume in terms of your body fluids equals that the percentage that tells the BAC.0623

0.1 Is actually high see.0636

That is higher this is 0.08%.0639

0.1% that is higher than the legal limit.0643

Let us go back to 0.05.0646

50 mg is about a BAC of 0.05.0650

You could technically drive.0655

You are supposed driving which is not recommended.0657

What happens at that point for most people they had a drink or 2, loss of innovation.0659

You are more likely to do certain things that you would have done when you are sober.0665

A warm feeling inside, flushed skin and some people get a little better redness.0669

Mild impairment and judgment.0675

By the way flushed skin, the redness is because of vasodilation, the lowering of blood pressure in the capillary of the skin.0676

Mind impairment and judgment in terms of your decision-making slightly impaired.0684

Let us fast forward to 2.1.0689

Slurred speech this is the point where you pass the ability to drive effectively.0692

Confusion the mental processes are not working as well.0702

Emotional instability.0705

You are going to be potentially reacting to things way more emotionally than they typically would.0706

Inappropriate giddiness about certain things.0712

0.2 We are getting a significantly more impaired here.0716

Staggering or falling over, maintaining balance at this point.0720

Those are more in our reptilian parts of the brain.0723

The part of the brain inside of the cerebrum that regulate according to your body activities are going to be affected.0729

Double vision is not being able to see just one image.0736

Memory loss at this point people will get blackout drunk that term meaning0739

when they wake the next they will not even remember what happened at this point.0746

This is getting to the point of alcohol poisoning.0752

Some people at this point would get alcohol poisoning meaning they would just be unconscious all of the sudden,0755

have labored breathing and potentially die from it.0762

It depends on the person of course but what I did not include in here is at 0.3 for the average person is definitely alcohol poisoning.0768

0.3 Is very dangerous, that person should be going to a hospital.0780

Their brain is severely impaired by the alcohol flowing in their bloodstream.0785

Since the brain is regulating activities of organs their entire body is being negatively impacted.0790

400mg per deciliter, 0.4 is typically going to be death.0797

For some people it might take 2.5 to kill them but 0.4 will make you comatose or go into a coma.0803

Incontinence, urinating, and defecating without control.0811

Irregular breathing or labored breathing and extremely low blood pressure in terms of getting fluids run in the body effectively.0816

Alcohol affecting organs.0826

I am not going to read all of this but you can pause in and check it out.0827

How alcohol affects your body.0832

You can see that is not just the liver.0834

It is a lot of different organs.0835

This is not even all of them.0838

The brain went over with the last slide in terms of how the brain affects someone’s behavior.0839

Drinking alcohol can cause your blood pressure to rise over time.0848

Your alcohol abuse over time even though it is depressing can lead to high blood pressure.0851

It can increase the size of your heart which makes it less efficient.0856

The stomach, you are putting calories in your body that can cause weight gain.0861

Vomiting is something that can happen with too much alcohol.0865

Ulcers and cancer the liver long-term effects are cirrhosis of the liver.0870

I will show you an image of that later on.0874

The reproductive system it is going to cause some negative impacts on that.0877

Loss of inhibition, the likely hood that some are having unprotected, unsafe sex0884

and making poor decisions about that is going to be increased the more intoxicated they get.0889

Some misconceptions on alcohol intoxication.0895

You can not speed up the livers breakdown of alcohol with coffee, food, cold showers, etc.0898

They do not work.0909

If you have heard this to be true it is possible that coffee can make a person feel more awake0911

but it is going to do nothing to get the alcohol out of the system.0918

It is the same with eating something.0921

Someone who is really drunk and ease to go home they will eventually drive and will say feed her something.0922

Only time is going to have an impact on how fast the liver breaks down ethanol out of the bloodstream.0930

Cold shower may once again make someone feel a bit more alert or awake but will not speed the breakdown of alcohol.0939

Only time will do that.0948

One thing I want to mention about food is they say drinking with empty stomach is suitably different.0949

I know what they mean by that because if you have of a big meal and you have a few glasses of wine,0958

the speed at which that alcohol will get absorbed in your stomach relative to the amount of food in there0965

is a little bit different than if you drink on an empty stomach.0971

If you drink on an empty stomach it does heat you quicker especially if you have not eaten in a while.0973

In general these do not have an impact on the speed at which ethanol is broken down in your liver.0980

There are differences between going to bed intoxicated and passing out from potential alcohol poisoning.0987

What I mean by that is somebody who had a dangerous amount of alcohol who has been taking many shots all night, beers,0992

if they does randomly pass out on a couch as they have been drinking.1001

We are talking about potential danger of alcohol poisoning.1006

Someone like that who has passed out on their back not only is their heart rate will be lower than it should and their blood pressure will be lower.1010

If they vomit in that position while they are on their back they could get what is called aspiration pneumonia.1018

If you aspirate on your vomit that simply means that they vomited, their stomach expelled what was in there because of too much alcohol.1026

And they could choke.1036

The vomit going down into their trachea, into their lungs, and they can suffocate.1037

This happens.1044

Watch out for your friends if this is a situation where they pass out.1047

Put them on their side so that if they vomit it is less likely to be choked on.1052

But when they get to the point where they are passing out and then look pale, they look flushed, and look sweaty, they look ill, get them to a hospital.1058

It is better to be safe than sorry.1068

Binge drinking which happens much more in this country in the United States than people are aware of and worldwide too.1073

Binge drinking is consuming 4-5 drinks or more in 2 hours.1079

The average person will say that they are just partying.1085

That is the definition of binge drinking.1088

Binge drinking is pretty much drinking to get drunk, that is binge drinking.1090

That kind of activity over time is really harmful to your liver.1095

It is harmful to the other organs in the body.1099

Overtime lots of binge drinking it has long term effects.1103

The average person 97% of adults have participated in binge drinking at some point.1109

Doing it more often becomes a dangerous habit.1117

Hangovers how do they happen?1122

Numerous factors and I am not listing all of them.1123

I am listing the main ones.1126

Numerous factors impact the severity of a hangover.1127

Alcohol tolerance is somebody who drinks alcohol a lot get the point where they do not experience hang over significantly1131

as someone who just drank for the first time and woke up with a significant headache.1141

Alcohol tolerance overtime can have something to do with it.1146

Acetaldehyde is that first kind of immediate product of the breakdown of ethanol in the liver.1149

Acetaldehyde in the bloodstream before it gets broken down further has a nauseated effects.1160

The more of that in the bloodstream the more you feel and that is why somebody the next morning1165

have severely hang over will have that need to vomit or feel like they need to vomit.1174

Acetaldehyde has that effect.1178

Massive dehydration I have mention this in one of the previous lessons regarding ADH.1181

ADH is the anti diuretic hormone coming from the pituitary gland and this tells your kidneys to hang onto water.1186

Ethanol in the bloodstream prevents this from working.1194

And it does not get to the kidneys and work properly so that causes somebody who has been drinking a bunch to urinate excessively.1198

Somebody who has been drinking a lot, if the urine starts looking clear that is dangerous.1206

They are urinating such a high percentage of water that are severely dehydrated your body.1210

In the next morning that massive amount of dehydration is going to cause a headache1215

because not only is our body is dehydrated your brain is working on less water than its use to.1222

That gets in the way of regular cellular activities.1227

Massive dehydration is also another part of it.1231

Some people complain that red wine or dark whiskey or things like that cause a hangover more so than other alcohols.1234

That has to do with congeners.1245

Congeners are chemicals that are found much more in darker liquors or darker alcohols like red wine, bourbon, things like that.1247

Some people claim they can drink vodka or white wine and not get that hangover.1256

They did a study to verify this.1261

They got hundreds of people together and the control group had alcohols1264

with very low amounts of congeners and the other group had a lot of congeners in it.1270

On average the high congener group experienced much more of the hangover the next morning than the control group.1275

It depends on the person.1285

Ethanol is still in the bloodstream.1287

It can be something else.1289

Somebody who consume so much alcohol the night before when they wake they can still be slightly drunk1290

which means the really massive hangover effects can be felt later on in the day when a lot of that will be converted to acetaldehyde.1300

If you have heard the term hair of the dog, to deal with a hangover next morning will drink again to relieve the effects of hangover1310

but you are just delaying the inevitable.1321

Drinking alcohol and you drink the next morning and make you feel better for a little while1324

but you are just adding fuel to the fire in terms of the hangover that you are going to experience later on.1328

The cures for hangover it depends on who you ask.1336

There are a lot of different theories on how to cure hangover.1338

Get some rest, drink lots of fluids, and eat a decent meal.1341

Alarming statistics.1348

Alcoholism affects more than 10,000,000 people in the U.S. alone.1350

That is alarming, the U.S. has little over 300,000,000 people that is a lot in terms of the percentage.1355

Alcoholism is probably is hard to say exactly but it is probably society's most expensive health problem.1363

If you consider the amount of alcohol that is consumed yearly by all kinds of people, all kinds of adults.1370

The estimate is 136 billion annually.1379

That is healthcare costs, that is damage from driving drunk.1382

Alcohol abused there are all kinds of effects in terms of cost because of alcoholism.1389

Alcohol affects or health effects on all physiological tissues.1396

All physiological tissues and I am pointing this out previously with the dangers of alcohol,1408

the previous slide and that image that had all those different organs.1417

It is not just the liver.1420

In the liver you see a lot of long term effects there but it affects the brain.1422

It does affect your brain chemistry overtime.1427

And that is part of the addiction that happens with alcoholism.1429

Women consuming ounce of alcohol per day during pregnancy have a high rate of spontaneous abortion of losing the baby.1435

Even if they do not lose the baby they are more likely to have it is called fetal alcohol syndrome or FAS.1443

The baby is underweight.1449

It is going to have mental difficulty that is permanent.1451

It is also going to have other physiological problems because of alcohol consumption.1456

The baby and mother sharing a blood supply in the alcohol is going to have an effect in the development.1460

Genetic factors do play a role some at risk for alcoholism.1466

If one or more of your parents are alcoholics, the likely hood of you become an alcoholic is higher.1469

Chromosome 11 can sometimes play a role.1477

Research has shown that when you study the chromosomes and genotypes of alcoholics,1479

there is a lot point of chromosome 11 and not a guarantee but there are some pointers to that chromosome playing a role.1487

Health problems with alcohol.1498

I already discuss some of them but alcohol abuse is a broad term.1499

You know binge drinking overtime is a form of alcohol abuse.1506

It is really how abusive is the person being.1510

How many nights a week they are drinking and how much they are drinking over how many years?1514

Alcohol abuse can add up.1517

Alcohol poisoning that is deadly.1520

Alcohol poisoning leads to the person losing consciousness and having massive problems in terms of their brain function,1524

in terms of their heart and blood vessels supplying of nutrients and oxygen into the tissues.1537

When I was in TI, I witnessed this first hand.1542

NT is similar to a paramedic.1545

When I was in college I witnessed an individual had alcohol poisoning.1547

She was unconscious and vomiting while unconscious.1552

We have to use what is called the VVAC on her or vomit vacuum to clear her airways especially when she aspirate on her own vomit.1556

That is scary and then that night started out as a fun time with her friends.1563

She had way too many shots of alcohol in a very short period of time.1568

And she is lucky that she lived.1572

Alcoholism is that the long-term addiction to alcohol that affects millions of Americans and many millions of people worldwide.1574

People say that alcoholic their whole life because there is always a risk if they take a drink even after 20 or 30 years of being sober1588

and they can go right back to abusing alcohol and abusing their body.1596

Groups like alcoholics anonymous can help with that.1604

Fatty liver can eventually lead to cirrhosis.1606

A fatty liver I have mentioned this before with previous lessons on the liver that overtime alcohol abuse drinking too much alcohol1609

can make the liver grow in size because of fatty deposits.1618

The liver will actually get overtime less deep dark red like you see in a healthy liver and start to look light in appearance because of these fat deposits.1622

Long term cirrhosis this is not even the worst picture.1632

I have seen a liver with cirrhosis but this is permanent liver damage.1636

The only cure to cirrhosis is a liver transplant.1641

If untreated in terms of the transplant it could lead to death.1644

This is a severe liver disease.1650

Alcohol abuse overtime or drug abuse can lead to cirrhosis.1654

You can tell by just by looking that is not a healthy liver.1658

Be wise when it comes to abusing alcohol as an adult.1661

Thank you for watching