Alcohol is chemically known as ethanol. Each alcoholic beverage has a certain degree of ethanol which is responsible for part of the taste, for the warmth and for the side effects.
When you drink your beverage, ethanol is quickly absorbed and it flows through many systems in your body. But it is the liver that is responsible for breaking it down into energy and get it ready to be thrown out of your body.
The hepatocyte, or liver cell, uses ADH and ALDH, enzymes, to break down alcohol into acetate. When consume too much alcohol another chemical system will break the excess alcohol – P450. P450 is also used to destroy most other toxic substances you ingest, so there is already a problem – by taking too much alcohol you are not letting your liver deal with toxic substances produced by your own body.
This leads to liver cell burn out and the other function of the hepatocyte gets compromised – converting fats and cholesterol. This leads to accumulation of fat along with the excess toxic substances inside the cells which eventually start to die.
Because the liver is responsible for clearing your body of virtually everything that can chemically harm it, as the liver gets sick most systems will fail:
- Your brain will feel sluggish and you will experience confusion and light-headness
- Your arteries will get clotted with so much cholesterol and damaging substances
- Part of your immune system will be slowed down and another part will speed up, leading to increased infections and auto-immune diseases, such as rashes and ashtma
- Your pancreas won’t be able to deal with the altered fat-sugar metabolism, leading to obesity or, in extreme liver illness, loss of muscle and weight
But this condition, prior to cirrhosis, known as steatosis or fatty liver can easily be reversed. All it takes are some changes in your diet, some more exercise and an investment in certain juices and supplements and you can experience differences in as little as one week.