A.Alcoholic beverages were probably discovered accidentally when people tasted alcohol in rotten, fermenting fruit. Scenes showing the process of fermentation appear on Mesopotamian pottery as early as 4200 BC.
Q. What is alcohol
A. A chemical. The alcohol found in alcoholic beverages is ethyl alcohol (ethanol). Alcohol found in drinks is not pure,pure alcohol could easily kill a person.
Q. How is alcohol made
A. There are four different methods, which produce different types of alcohol. Fermentation uses fruit or grain mixtures, and results in wine and beer. Distillation uses fruit or grain and produces spirits. Chemical modification of fossil fuels produces industrial alcohol. Finally, chemically combining hydrogen and carbon monoxide produces methanol.
Q. What happens to alcohol after it's been swallowed
A. The majority is absorbed by the small intestine and the rest by the stomach and it ends up in body tissue water via the bloodstream. The only tissue it doesn't enter is fat tissue, because alcohol cannot be dissolved in fat.
Q. How does the body get rid of alcohol
A. Alcohol leaves the body in three ways. The kidneys get rid of 5% via urine. The lungs get rid of another 5%, via exhaled breath, which is what a breathalyser teat detects. The liver breaks down any remaining alcohol.
Q. Why does alcohol have such a big impact on the way people behave
A. Alcohol can have an enormous affect on people because of the way it interacts with the brain. Alcohol interferes with the normal communication between nerve cells and all other cells.
People often appear less inhibited after drinking because alcohol depresses the behavioural inhibitory centres of the brain.
Alcohol also interferes with the brains limbic system, which controls emotions. When drunk, people can become very emotional or aggressive.
Q. Is there any basis to the saying 'blind drunk'
A. Yes, alcohol slows down the brains processing of sensory information, as well as sight, it affects smell, hearing, taste and touch. Alcohol also affects the part of the brain responsible for coordinating our movement, which is why drunken people have problems walking a straight line or touching their nose.
Q. Can men handle alcohol better than women
A. Men tend to have more muscle and less fat than women. Because alcohol won't dissolve in fat, so generally a man can drink the same quantity of alcohol as a woman. but more of it will be dissolved by his body's tissue.
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By Lisa Cardy