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Alcohol (ethyl alcohol or alcohol, absolute alcohol, alcohol_ absolutus), chem., C2H5OH, colorless, pungent taste, characteristic odor, flammable liquid, boiling at 78.13 ° C, freezing at -130 ° C, beats. weight 0.794.

Alcohol dissolves tar and essential oils; with acids gives esters. It is found in all alcoholic beverages and causes their intoxicating effect. Acts on the body in an exciting way, slowing down the metabolism.

Alcohol can be prepared synthetically. In large sizes, it is obtained from starchy and sugary substances from the action of yeast on sugar during alcoholic fermentation. It has a very diverse application in technology (as a lighting material, in perfumery, dyeing, varnish, etc.), chemistry and pharmacy.

Alcohol has long become a kind of stumbling block for all of humanity. People argue tirelessly about its benefits or harms. There are many misconceptions and even myths associated with the usefulness of alcoholic beverages. How true are they?

Alcohol myths

Alcohol can help you warm up quickly. Alcoholic drinks are often called intoxicants. Why? People are confident that alcohol has a warming effect. And for a frozen person, a sip of something strong is the best medicine. Such a statement contains only a small fraction of the truth. The fact is that about 50 grams of vodka or brandy helps with cooling. They dilate blood vessels and normalize the blood supply to internal organs. Subsequent doses of alcohol increase blood flow to the skin. She blushes, a pleasant feeling of warmth appears. But it is very deceptive - after all, in this case, heat transfer increases, and the body begins to cool down even more. Moreover, a person retains a subjective feeling of complete well-being. So the warming effect of alcoholic beverages is greatly exaggerated.

Alcohol increases appetite. Alcohol really whet the appetite. But the appearance of a slight feeling of hunger is provoked only by strong drinks, and even then only by small quantities. We are talking about 20-25 grams of vodka. It affects the saturation center and activates it. This whole process takes 15-20 minutes, no less. Therefore, drinking "for appetite" right before eating is fundamentally wrong. After all, hunger will not appear in a matter of seconds: it takes a longer time. In addition, alcohol before meals is also not a solution to their situation. Alcohol will behave aggressively towards the mucous membrane of an empty stomach. He will suffer from hydrochloric acid, the production of which will also increase. As a result, gastritis may develop. Is it too high a price to eat with appetite?

Alcohol relieves stress. Often tired people try to cheer themselves up with alcohol. But in most cases this is not done correctly. After all, you need to drink quite a bit - 20-30 ml of vodka or brandy or 40 ml of wine or martini. Such small doses relieve internal stress and help to relax. Which, in general, corresponds to the concept of "relieve stress". Unfortunately, much heavier volumes of alcohol are most often used for this purpose. And here the scenario can develop in two ways. First, fatigue worsens, mood decreases, a kind of depression appears, which only intensifies the feeling of internal fatigue. The second is alcoholic euphoria, which also inevitably ends in depression. In neither case, there is no need to talk about relieving stress. So if you really get rid of this misfortune with the help of alcohol, then you need to do it wisely.

Alcohol is a cure for colds. Many are treated for colds with vodka - with apples, with honey, with something else. It is believed that such a drug also lowers the temperature, and stops the runny nose, and reduces the sore throat. Where this belief came from - no one knows. However, for some reason, many are sure that this is an old Russian recipe and that all our ancestors were treated in this way. It is possible that the Russians fought colds with vodka. Another thing is important - modern medicine does not recognize this method. First, the "firewater" immunity does not improve in any way. Secondly, alcohol is far from the best effect on a sore throat. It starts to hurt even more after the "treatment". So you don't need to believe in the healing power of vodka. But you can drink a small amount of warmed red wine. It at least has the ability to stimulate the body's immune system.

Vodka cures stomach ailments. The popular belief that vodka can be used to treat stomach ailments (it is usually recommended to take 50 grams before meals) is not only wrong, but also dangerous. In the first weeks, small doses of vodka do have some analgesic effect, since alcohol acts directly on the nerve endings, which are very abundant in the gastric mucosa. But the trouble is that every day more and more doses are needed to maintain the analgesic effect. But this is not the worst thing. Since alcohol causes a sharp rush of blood to the digestive organs, its use in diseases of the stomach can lead to serious complications - gastric bleeding, exacerbation of cholecystitis.

High-quality alcohol does no harm. Any alcohol has a toxic effect on the body. This is due to the fact that one of the decomposition products of ethyl alcohol is acetaldehyde. It is he who creates various atrocities in the body. But low-quality alcohol affects the body even worse. After all, cheap strong drinks do not undergo proper purification, they contain fusel oils, which greatly enhance the toxic effect of alcohol. The same can be said for home-made drinks. And it seems that the water was used well, and environmentally friendly fruits or berries, but still the drink turns out to be much more harmful than a similar purchased one. And all because it is very difficult to clean alcohol at home. Of course, preference should be given to well-known and expensive brands, but one should not think that they will not affect health.

Any amount of alcohol is dangerous. Adherents of a healthy lifestyle urge to completely stop drinking alcohol. However, scientists all over the world have long come to the conclusion about the benefits, for example, of red wine - it contains components that have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. In moderation, wine and beer, on the other hand, are good for the body. According to doctors, it is not necessary to exclude alcohol from the diet - it is necessary not to abuse it.

Alcohol improves performance. Many believe that under the influence of alcohol, work is easier than usual. We are not talking about an average and even less about a severe degree of intoxication, when all reactions and feelings are dulled. This refers to the mild degree at which the thought processes are activated. But this feeling is completely subjective, and this has been recently proven by Australian scientists. With the help of experiments, they came to the most interesting conclusions. It turns out that in slightly intoxicated people, the speed of mental and motor reactions can really increase. But these reactions are often wrong. In addition, even small doses of alcohol cause a decrease in concentration and a deterioration in the quality of inference. Thus, to work "under the degree" is more expensive for yourself. Maybe the work will be done faster, but it will certainly contain various kinds of errors.

Alcohol lowers blood pressure. Many hypertensive people think that it is possible to lower blood pressure with the help of alcohol. He, they say, dilates blood vessels ... There is some truth in this statement - small doses of alcoholic beverages really weaken the tone of the vascular wall. But along with this, they increase the heart rate. And blood pressure directly depends on the volume of blood "pushed" into the bloodstream. The larger this volume, the higher the pressure. Therefore, alcohol should by no means be considered a cure for hypertension. The situation is aggravated by the fact that many alcoholic beverages contain biologically active substances. These compounds themselves can have an effect on blood pressure, and in most cases adversely.

Alcohol is not high in calories. Many women count all the calories they eat. And the calories drunk are not counted. Meanwhile, alcohol has a very high energy value, and the stronger the drink, the greater this value. This indicator is the highest for vodka. The latter does not possess nutritional properties; calories are brought in only due to alcohol. That is why it is very difficult to get rid of them. The situation is a little different with wine. The energy value of this drink is partly due to carbohydrates, which are easily broken down and burn easily. Therefore, wine does not have such a detrimental effect on appearance. Nevertheless, any alcohol is very high in calories. This rule knows no exceptions, so before drinking, you need to think not only about your health, but also about your figure.

Whiskey is a more dangerous drink than vodka. This is not true. All spirits in which 40 or more (vodka, cognac, whiskey) contribute equally to stomach cancer. But it would be wrong to call them carcinogens (carcinogens are found in tobacco smoke, in food that is improperly stored, if there is an irrational diet, carcinogenic substances are formed in the stomach itself). Their "villainous role" is different. They contribute to the permeability of carcinogenic substances into cells: under the influence of alcohol, the membrane of the cells of the gastric mucosa breaks down, which protects them from external influences. The cell opens up for exposure to harmful factors, those carcinogens that are already the direct cause of cancer.

Beer is not alcohol. Now many people think that since beer is a low-alcohol drink, then it does not do any harm to health. This is a catastrophic delusion. There really isn't a lot of alcohol in beer. But this does not mean at all that this drink is harmless. It is also alcoholic and therefore addictive. It is not for nothing that recently more and more doctors talk about the so-called beer alcoholism. In addition, the intoxicated drink is very bad for the liver and heart. These organs undergo degeneration and begin to function poorly. Considering all this, in no case should you treat beer like lemonade. You cannot absorb it daily in liters. Such thoughtlessness will very quickly affect your health.

Should I drink soda with vodka? Many, in order not to get too drunk, often dilute and wash down strong drinks with carbonated water and various tonics. However, this only accelerates the intoxication and leads to a severe hangover. And therefore, if you really drink vodka, then only non-carbonated mineral water.

We must not drink, but eat. Most of us are sure that strong drinks are a must by all means. And in no case should you drink them. But even this statement is not entirely correct. Here you need to clarify what kind of snacks are meant - hot or cold. The latter weakly neutralize alcohol, it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. The same thing happens when a person drinks alcohol. So in this sense, juices, compotes, fruit drinks can be put on the same level with fruits and vegetable salads. The situation is completely different with hot and fatty dishes, such as soups or stews. They suppress the absorption of ethanol, reduce the severity of intoxication and are therefore considered the best snacks. Not a single "wash" can compare with them.

Watch the video: The Truth About Alcohol - BBC Documentary (August 2022).