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When the Body Converts Alcohols into Water

Alcohol that is common to the public in beverages is Ethyl Alcohol of the chemical structure CH3-CH2-OH, where C is the chemical symbol of carbon, H is that of hydrogen, and -OH is a Hydroxyl group. It is this hydroxyl group that largely dictates the physical and chemical properties of alcohol, so it is called its functional group.

Ethyl alcohol is the widely spread alcohol in daily life, as it is present in beverages, some pharmaceutical preparations and as industrial solvent. It is present in concentrations ranging from about 5% in Beer up to 99% in lab and industrial uses.

The most abundant form of alcohol is sugars. Sugars are present as Trioses, Tetroses, Pentoses, and Hexoses, all of them have more than 1Hydroxyl groups, so they are called poly-hydric alcohols.
Glucose is a hexose alcohol that is used for energy production and storage. When utilized to produce energy, glucose crosses the cell membrane into the cytoplasm where it is enzymically split into 2 molecules with the production of a small amount of energy in a process called glycolysis. This glycolysis process is very vital for some tissues to perform their primary function, like when the skeletal muscles start working.

For extraction of all energy present in a molecule, it should enter the energy house of the cell, the mitochondria.The substrate for mitochondrial energy production is an acid, so alcohols( sugars) should be converted into acids. Together with acids liberated from fats and acids converted from amino acids, they all enter the mitochondria to be converted into water and energy.
Inside the mitochondria, these acids are not ( combusted ) as the body is not an internal combustion engine, yet they are processed through a complex enzymatic array to produce Carbon Dioxide, water and energy.

While poly-hydric alcohols ( sugars ) produce energy and water through the mitochondria, mono-hydric alcohol ( Ethyl alcohol ) decreases the capacity of the mitochondria to produce them, as it competes with the substrates for acids required by the mitochondria for cytoplasmic tools that produce these acids.

Instead of producing energy and water in the mitochondria, mono-hydric alcohol( Ethanol) produces:
- Acetate as an end product of Ethyl alcohol metabolism.
- Cholesterol.
- Lipids.
(Alcoholism leads to stout accumulation in the liver, hyper-lipidemia, and ultimately cirrhosis)
- Lact-acidemia ( increased lactic acid in the blood) which decreases the capacity of the kidney to excrete uric acid, and probably this is the cause of aggravation of Gout by drinking alcohol.

We can see that the safest metabolic pathway of alcohol is when the body converts it into water and energy. A prerequisite, is that we supply the body the proper form of alcohol.

Waheed Elqalatawy writes simple scientific articles on health topics for any one who wants to expand his reading horizons about health. Publish articles, but please do not change them and do not forget to
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