Friday, July 3, 2015

The science of alcohol: How booze affects your body and brain!

The science of alcohol: How booze affects your body and brain!

Drinking alcohol can make humans feel pretty good, at least in the short term. From that very first sip of beer, wine or vodka, the alcohol travels to your stomach and into your bloodstream.

It then makes its way around the whole body: your brain, your mood and your muscles. The process starts within minutes of your first sip. The level of alcohol in your blood will peak about 45 to 90 minutes later, according to the NHS. So what is really going on?

Your body sees alcohol as a poison. It can't store it, so wants to break it down and get rid of it. This is where the liver comes in. Your liver converts alcohol into a number of different chemicals to allow your body to break it down, and get rid of it.

How Alcohol Affects Your Brain And Body

Enzymes do this. In this case, the liver uses an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase to convert the alcohol into what is actually a pretty toxic substance called acetaldehyde (sometimes the production of this substance is what can make you feel hungover).

Alcohol and your Brain

At least acetaldehyde doesn't make you feel intoxicated though, and it can be worked on more easily to shunt the rest of the alcohol from your system.

Taking risks

Particular effects of alcohol on the body make drinking dangerous for drivers. Alcohol affects the brains 'neurotransmitters', the chemicals in the brain which carry messages to other parts of the body and tell it what to do. Alcohol makes these neurotransmitters go a bit haywire.

By: Prateek Pathak on Jul 03, 2015