Why I gave up alcohol

Friday, May 24, 2024

Primary Blog/Nutrition/Why I gave up alcohol

I can't tell you what to do but...

THIS is why I DON'T drink!

and you probably shouldn't either...

Why alcohol is dangerous

**I. Introduction**

- Definition of alcohol and its prevalence in society

Alcohol, in the context of beverages, generally refers to ethyl alcohol or ethanol, a chemical compound with the molecular formula C2H5OH. Ethanol is the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and spirits. It is produced through the fermentation of sugars by yeast. Ethanol is a psychoactive substance that can have various effects on the central nervous system when consumed. Typical responses generally look like stumbling, slurred speech, and reckless behavior. Alcohol impacts the brain in negative ways and when abused, can lead to addiction and depression. In society, it is especially prevalent, and many people consume it. It is common in social gatherings and many people consume it socially.


**II. Understanding Alcohol*

Alcohol is any molecule that has an -oh group attached. Alcohol, in its many forms, has been a staple of human society for millennia. From ancient civilizations to modern cultures, alcoholic beverages have played significant roles in social, religious, and cultural contexts. Whether it's the communal sharing of wine during religious ceremonies, the conviviality of a pint at a pub with friends, or the elegance of champagne to mark celebrations, alcohol permeates nearly every aspect of human interaction. Its ubiquity is evident in the vast array of alcoholic beverages available worldwide, ranging from the brewed beers of Europe to the distilled spirits of Asia and the wines of the Mediterranean. Despite differences in taste, production methods, and cultural significance, these beverages share a common denominator: ethanol, the psychoactive compound that defines alcohol.



Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol, is a type of alcohol that is commonly found in alcoholic beverages. Chemically, it is a simple organic compound with the molecular formula C2H5OH. Ethanol is produced through the fermentation of sugars by yeast or through the chemical synthesis of ethylene.


It is a clear, colorless liquid with a characteristic odor and taste. Ethanol is highly soluble in water and has a lower density than water, which is why alcoholic beverages mix well with other liquids.


Beyond its use in alcoholic beverages, ethanol has numerous industrial applications. It is commonly used as a solvent in various industries, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and cleaning products. It is also used as a fuel additive in gasoline and as a renewable fuel source in biofuels like ethanol-based ethanol. Additionally, ethanol has antiseptic properties and is often used as a disinfectant in healthcare settings. This is why severe alcoholics will drink hand sanitizer to get drunk.



Ethanol metabolism primarily occurs in the liver through a series of enzymatic reactions. The key enzyme involved in ethanol metabolism is alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), which converts ethanol to acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde, a toxic compound, is further metabolized by aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) into acetate, which then enters the citric acid cycle for energy production. This process also generates reducing equivalents in the form of NADH, which can disrupt cellular redox balance. ASEA redox may help negate these effects. Moreover, the induction of cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) by chronic alcohol consumption contributes to ethanol metabolism, leading to increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress. These metabolic pathways have been extensively studied and elucidated through both in vitro and in vivo experiments. For instance, research by Lieber and DeCarli (1982) demonstrated the role of ADH and ALDH in ethanol metabolism and its implications for alcohol-related liver damage. Furthermore, studies by Cederbaum (2012) and Lu et al. (2018) have investigated the involvement of CYP2E1 in ethanol-induced oxidative stress and its contribution to alcohol-associated liver injury. Overall, understanding the metabolism of ethanol is crucial for elucidating its effects on various organs and developing therapeutic interventions for alcohol-related disorders. Restoring redox balance with ASEA might be a reasonable option for therapy although; ASEA does NOT claim to diagnose, treat, or cure any specific diseases.



**III. The Brain: An Overview**



The brain is the most complex organ in the human body, consisting of billions of neurons and supporting cells. Structurally, the brain can be divided into several major regions, each with distinct functions:



1. **Cerebrum**: The largest part of the brain, divided into two hemispheres (left and right) and further subdivided into lobes (frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital). The cerebrum is responsible for higher cognitive functions such as thinking, reasoning, memory, and voluntary movement.



2. **Cerebellum**: Located at the back of the brain, beneath the cerebrum. The cerebellum coordinates voluntary movements, maintains posture, and plays a role in motor learning.



3. **Brainstem**: Connects the brain to the spinal cord and consists of the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata. The brainstem regulates essential functions such as breathing, heart rate, and consciousness. Alcohol disrupts nerve impulses in the spinal cord.



4. **Diencephalon**: Located between the cerebrum and the brainstem and includes structures such as the thalamus and hypothalamus. The diencephalon is involved in sensory processing, hormone regulation, and maintaining homeostasis. Since alcohol disrupts these it can be assumed that it causes damage.



Functionally, the brain is responsible for controlling virtually every aspect of human behavior, cognition, and physiology. Some of its key functions include:



1. **Sensory Processing**: The brain receives and interprets information from the senses, allowing us to perceive the world around us.



2. **Motor Control**: The brain coordinates voluntary and involuntary movements, enabling us to interact with our environment and perform tasks ranging from walking to speaking. This is why reaction time slows and speech slurs when drinking alcohol.



3. **Cognition**: The brain is responsible for various cognitive processes, including attention, memory, language, problem-solving, and decision-making.



4. **Emotion Regulation**: The brain plays a central role in experiencing and regulating emotions, influencing our mood, motivation, and social behavior.



5. **Homeostasis**: The brain maintains internal balance and regulates physiological processes such as body temperature, blood pressure, and metabolism.



Overall, the brain is an intricate organ that integrates sensory information, orchestrates complex behaviors, and ensures the survival and well-being of the individual. Its structure and function are the subject of extensive research in neuroscience, as understanding the brain is essential for addressing neurological disorders and enhancing human health and cognition. Alcohol inhibits or diminishes all these functions; this is why over consumption can be so dangerous.


Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that play a fundamental role in brain function by transmitting signals between neurons (nerve cells) and other cells in the body. These molecules are essential for communication within the nervous system and are involved in various physiological processes, including cognition, emotion, movement, and regulation of bodily functions. The importance of neurotransmitters lies in their ability to modulate neural activity and influence behavior and bodily functions in profound ways. Here are some key aspects of neurotransmitters and their roles in brain function:



1. **Signal Transmission**: Neurotransmitters are released from the presynaptic neuron into the synaptic cleft, the tiny gap between neurons. They bind to specific receptors on the postsynaptic neuron, triggering changes in its membrane potential and transmitting signals from one neuron to another. This process, known as synaptic transmission, underlies all communication within the nervous system.



2. **Neuronal Excitation and Inhibition**: Neurotransmitters can have excitatory or inhibitory effects on the postsynaptic neuron, depending on the type of receptor they bind to and the downstream signaling pathways they activate. Excitatory neurotransmitters promote the generation of action potentials (electrical impulses) in the postsynaptic neuron, whereas inhibitory neurotransmitters suppress neuronal activity and reduce the likelihood of action potential firing.



3. **Regulation of Mood and Emotion**: Neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine play crucial roles in regulating mood, emotion, and motivation. Imbalances in these neurotransmitter systems have been implicated in mood disorders such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Drugs that target neurotransmitter systems are commonly used in the treatment of these conditions.



4. **Control of Motor Function**: Neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, dopamine, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) are involved in controlling motor function and movement. Dysfunction of these neurotransmitter systems can lead to movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and dystonia.



5. **Cognitive Processes**: Neurotransmitters are essential for various cognitive processes, including learning, memory, attention, and decision-making. Glutamate, the primary excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain, is particularly important for synaptic plasticity, the ability of synapses to strengthen or weaken in response to experience, which underlies learning and memory.



6. **Regulation of Autonomic Functions**: Neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline (epinephrine) regulate autonomic functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and respiration. These neurotransmitters exert their effects through interactions with receptors in the autonomic nervous system.



Overall, neurotransmitters play a multifaceted role in brain function, influencing a wide range of physiological and psychological processes. Their balanced release and regulation are critical for maintaining normal brain function and overall health, and dysregulation of neurotransmitter systems can lead to neurological and psychiatric disorders.


Citations



Cederbaum AI. Alcohol metabolism. Clin Liver Dis. (2012) Nov;16(4):667-85. doi: 10.1016/j.cld.2012.08.002. PMID: 23101976; PMCID: PMC3484320.



Lieber, C.S. and DeCarli, L.M. (1982), The Feeding of Alcohol in Liquid Diets: Two Decades of Applications and 1982 Update. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 6: 523-531. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1530-0277.1982.tb05017.x



Li Y, Lu YY, Jia J, Fang M, Zhao L, Jiang Y, Shi Y, Tu PF, Guo XY. A Novel System for Evaluating the Inhibition Effect of Drugs on Cytochrome P450 Enzymes in vitro Based on Human-Induced Hepatocytes (hiHeps). Front Pharmacol. 2021 Oct 28;12:748658. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2021.748658. PMID: 34776966; PMCID: PMC8580884.



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