‘In Vino Veritas’ or ‘in wine lies truth’ are well-known words supposedly uttered 2600 years ago by the poet Alcaeus of Mytilene. Since ancient civilizations, humans have been familiar with alcoholic beverages; its effects are documented as far back as biblical texts. Depending on the amount consumed, alcohol can cause blackouts, headaches, nausea or fatigue. But what actually happens to the glass (or glasses) of wine we consume after it enters the human body?


What is Alcohol?

This might come along as a stupid question at first, but have you ever thought about what goes in an alcoholic drink? In daily life, the term is mostly used to describe alcohol we find in drinks – ethanol (or ethyl alcohol).

But there are many other kinds of alcohols as well; in the chemical sense, alcohols are defined as hydrocarbons containing one or more hydroxyl (-OH) groups bonded to a saturated carbon.

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A well-known example is methanol, just a methylene group (CH2) short of ethanol. But methanol exhibits different toxicity compared to ethanol and a small amount can be very harmful, even deadly.

Another alcohol some might not recognize as such is glycerin (aka glycerol). Glycerin is used in different ways in industry: cosmetics (just look on your shower gel bottles or moisturizers), fuels, dyes, pesticides and even in the production of nitroglycerin1!

Ethanol consists of 2 carbon atoms, 5 hydrogen atoms and 1 hydroxyl group – or C2H5OH; its name is derived from the ethane structure (C2H5) fused with the alcohol group (-OH). It is widely used in laboratories as a solvent or disinfectant, and also in our everyday lives as a beverage2.

The first documented alcoholic beverage was produced 9000 years ago in China, a wine-like drink made from fermenting rice, honey and fruit. Nowadays count varieties of crops and other ingredients are fermented through biological processes (beer, wine, cider) or distilled (vodka, whiskey, rum) to create the perfect drink17.


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If everybody is doing it, it can’t be that bad – right?

Everyone should be able to decide whether or not to drink, free of pressure; it is important to raise awareness of the dangers of alcohol use and misuse so that people are aware of the risks involved. More importantly, with this knowledge in hand, everyone can contribute by not pressuring others when they refuse ‘just one more drink’.

See more: How Many Deciliters In A Milliliter S To Deciliters Converter

NOTEIf yourself or somebody you care about is affected by alcohol abuse, there is help available to get you through it. Nobody should feel ashamed or alone. If you feel like this could be an issue in your life, here are just several of many organizations that you can reach out to:

drugabuse.comalcoholics-anonymous.eudrinkaware.co.ukdrinkwise.org.au


Reference

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