Cheers to a night of celebration! 🌟 While we all enjoy letting loose occasionally, it's crucial to understand the impact of alcohol on our bodies and how to support our health post a night of indulgence. In this blog, we'll delve into the effects of alcohol on the liver, share tips for recovery after a night of revelry, and provide insights into maintaining a healthy balance in our social lives.
Let's understand the "Chemical Breakdown of Alcohol"
"Most of the ethanol in the body is broken down in the liver by an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), which transforms ethanol into a toxic compound called acetaldehyde (CH3CHO), a known carcinogen."
The liver has a strong preference for ethanol as a fuel, prioritizing its metabolism over other substances. In simple words it will use ethanol from alcohol before it uses the energy from food sources.
Liver alcohol dehydrogenase (LADH), a crucial enzyme, processes ethanol at a rate of approximately 15 grams per hour, equivalent to consuming one regular beer. To put it in perspective, a 70 kg adult male could reach the legal limit for intoxication after consuming four drinks within one hour.
here are some references of what the liver can process
What to do after a long night of drinking ? or maybe a weekend ?
Excessive alcohol consumption places a considerable burden on the liver, overwhelming its natural detoxification processes. The liver, often considered our "detox" factory, may benefit from additional support. In conjunction with the points highlighted in this article, it's advisable to consult with a nutritionist and consider incorporating the following supplements:
B Complex Supplement: Alcohol depletes B vitamins crucial for metabolism. A B complex supplement aids in replenishing these vital nutrients, supporting optimal liver function and energy metabolism.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Integrate omega-3 supplements for their anti-inflammatory properties. These fatty acids contribute to overall liver health, potentially mitigating inflammation induced by alcohol consumption.
Hibiscus Tea: Enjoy the antioxidant benefits of hibiscus tea throughout the week. This can help combat oxidative stress on the liver, promoting a healthier organ.
Probiotics (e.g., Curd, Kimchi): Incorporate a daily probiotic source like curd or kimchi. Probiotics foster a healthy gut microbiome, aiding in digestion and nutrient absorption. This is particularly beneficial as alcohol can disrupt gut flora balance.
Milk Thistle Supplement: Consider adding milk thistle supplements. Known for its liver-protective properties, milk thistle may assist in shielding the liver from alcohol-induced damage.
Hydration: Ensure ample water intake to support the liver's detoxification process and prevent dehydration caused by alcohol's diuretic effect.
Liver-Friendly Foods: Consume liver-friendly foods such as leafy greens, beets, and carrots. These provide essential nutrients that support liver function and regeneration.
Remember, while these strategies contribute to lessening potential harm, moderation in alcohol consumption remains pivotal for overall health. Always consult with a nutritionist, doctor or a healthcare professional for personalized advice.
Read more to understand this better
Alcohol swiftly permeates the entire gastrointestinal (GI) tract, with the presence or absence of food in the stomach significantly influencing its absorption rate. Once absorbed, ethanol makes its way to the liver, where over 90% of it undergoes metabolism. The unmetabolized portion can enter the bloodstream unchanged.
Interestingly, the liver has a marked preference for ethanol as a fuel source, displacing other substrates when available. Liver alcohol dehydrogenase (LADH), a crucial enzyme, oxidizes ethanol at a rate of approximately 15 grams per hour, equivalent to one regular beer. For instance, a 70 kg adult male can legally register as intoxicated after consuming four drinks in one hour.
While ethanol itself isn't inherently toxic, its metabolic byproducts—acetaldehyde and acetate—are. These byproducts contribute to post-drinking nausea. Notably, the medication Antabuse, used in alcoholism treatment, allows acetaldehyde concentration to rise, inducing severe nausea and creating a potent aversion to alcohol. These byproducts can undergo further metabolism or be expelled through urine or feces. Understanding this intricate process sheds light on the physiological aftermath of alcohol consumption.
Effects on Nutrient Absorption
Persistent alcohol consumption disrupts the secretion of pancreatic enzymes, leading to impaired absorption of nutrients, especially fat and protein. This impairment extends beyond the digestive function of the pancreas, affecting its endocrine function. Notably, alcoholism commonly induces insulin resistance, leading to insufficient glycogen formation and depletion of energy stores. This shift towards anaerobic energy production within cells contributes to the excessive production of lactic acid.
Alcohol impacts blood vessels and fluid balance, often leading to headaches after excessive consumption. It's crucial to avoid Tylenol for hangover headaches, as it can interact with ethanol byproducts, potentially harming the liver. Nausea is tied to the toxic byproducts of alcohol elimination, causing irritation to the stomach.
Moreover, alcohol suppresses the release of anti-diuretic hormone (ADH), increasing urine production. A single standard drink can contribute an extra 150 mL to urinary output. Multiple drinks in succession may lead to a visit to "dehydration-land" and frequent restroom trips.