Alcohol is a chemical compound that is used as a beverage all over the world. It acts as both stimulant and depressant depending on the amount of consumption. According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 15 people die every day or one every 96 minutes from the effects of drinking alcohol in India.
Drinking too much on a single occasion can significantly impact one’s health in a bad way. It may interfere with the brain’s communication pathways that changes mood thus making it difficult to coordinate. It may also damage heart, causes liver inflammation, cancers, and weakens immune system finally making your body a much easier target for disease.
Effects of alcohol abuse on liver
The liver is one of the largest organs in the body present in upper right part of the abdomen, just below the ribs. It detoxifies and filters out harmful substances from blood, makes bile to digest food, stores energy and nutrients, and manufactures hormones, proteins, and enzymes that are used to function and ward off disease.
Drinking alcohol can increase risk of developing liver disease and cause irreparable damage to this important part of your body. Alcohol-related liver disease accounts for one third (37%) of liver disease deaths. Acetaldehyde is the primary metabolic product formed during alcohol metabolism in the liver. It is highly reactive compound that accumulates in high concentrations in the liver during alcohol abuse. Like alcohol, acetaldehyde appears not to be directly toxic to the liver cell but it binds non-enzymatically to free amino groups in the proteins of the liver cell which can result in adduct formation leading to various adverse effects which are as follows:
- Causes alcohol related disease associated inflammation and fibrosis.
- Causes derangement of liver cells, thereby affecting liver.
- Induces inflammation, necrosis and oxidative stress to liver cells.
- Induces production of free radicals that damages liver.
- Activates hepatic stellate cells that promotes scar tissue formation and reduces blood and oxygen supply to liver.
Thus Acetaldehyde is a toxin that fluctuates due to alcohol intake and increases the pressure on liver.