What Effect Does Alcohol Have on a Person's Health and Life Expectancy?

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Nicola Cooper
Student No; cs329513

What effect does alcohol have on a person's health and life expectancy?

The consumption of alcoholic beverages dates back to approximately 10,000 years ago when ‘viticulture' (the selective cultivation of grape vines for making wine) is said to have originated in the mountains between the Black and Caspian Seas. (1) It is one of the most commonly used psychoactive drugs in the world. Alcohol interacts with gamma amino bultyric acid (GABA) receptors in the brain, this is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in humans and is synthesized from glutamic acid. (1a)
Since then the production of alcohol has flourished and evolved becoming a huge part of today's society.

However, in recent years much
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In the mild stages of this disease there are little or no signs of illness, however when the condition becomes chronic, symptoms such as nausea and jaundice are seen, (jaundice is caused by a high level of bilirubin). The damage caused in the chronic stages can eventually turn into alcoholic cirrhosis.

Alcoholic cirrhosis involves the replacement of normal liver tissue with scar tissue called fibrosis. This gradual process affects the normal structure and regrowth of liver cells and the liver gradually loses its ability to function well.

Alcohol Metabolism

Alcohol is detoxified and removed from the body to prevent alcohol accumulating and destroying cells and organs, through a process called oxidation. A small amount a alcohol escapes the body unchanged through breathing and urine. Once the alcohol enters the body it is distributed throughout affecting the brain and other tissues.

Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) after the rapid consumption of different amounts of alcohol by eight adult fasting male subjects. 100 mg% is the legal level of intoxication in most States. 50 mg% is the level at which deterioration of driving skills begins. (7)

When alcohol is consumed, it passes from the stomach and intestines into the blood, a process referred to as absorption. Alcohol is then metabolized by enzymes, which are body chemicals that break down other chemicals. In the liver, an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase

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