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The Effects of Alcohol Final Research Paper Introduction to Nutrition There are many reasons why a person consumes alcoholic beverages They choose to use alcohol to relax decrease stress promote social interaction produce feelings of happiness and satisfaction The human body requires psychological balance and unfortunately many people turn to alcohol to obtain psychological balance But what are the consequences of consuming alcoholic beverages to our body In order to understand how alcohol is broken down in our body we need to understand what alcohol is Ethanol is the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages and is diluted with water and other substances It is considered a drug because the body builds up an increasing tolerance to it and develops a craving for it Alcohol is a lipid-soluble compound and it can diffuse into the cells of our body and affect their function Martini 2004 pg 472 The cells in our body have a selective permeable membrane meaning they only allow certain substances in and out of the cell but if a molecule is a lipid-soluble it can enter a cell without any help This is why alcohol affects so many of our bodily function motor skills speech muscles Alcohol does not need to be digested Most of it is absorbed through the stomach walls directly into the bloodstream Encyclopaedia Britannica 2004 Alcohol is able to reach the brain through the bloodstream within a minute depending on certain circumstances Frances and Whitney 2003 pg 92 When the stomach is full it takes the alcohol longer to reach the stomach walls Diluting alcoholic drinks carbohydrate snacks and high fat snacks slow alcohol absorption because it keeps it in the stomach longer Frances and Whitney 2003 pg 92 Also the size of the person is a determining factor because the same amount of alcohol is diluted more in a larger persons body than a smaller persons body The liver breaks down alcohol at a
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