A Química das Coisas - Álcool

Uploaded by scioffice on 26.03.2012

Some chemical substances are so linked to our life
or to our civilization that we no longer refer to them as chemical substances.
It's the case of alcohol.
Today in the Chemistry of Things we talk about an alcohol in particular, ethanol.
It's part of a large family which includes members such as methanol, which is poisonous
or ethylene glycol, used as antifreeze.
Ethanol is the only family member that has been produced for human consumption since the dawn of civilization.
That's the reason why it is simply known asů alcohol.
The chemistry of alcohol in our body, which is the same as saying
"the effects of alcohol on our body", is well known.
However, there are still many myths linked with alcohol.
For example, the wrong notion that alcohol warms you up.
In fact, alcohol is a peripheral vasodilator, that is
it increases blood flow to the periphery of the body: hands, feet, face, and skin in general.
When exposed to cold, the body protects itself by diverting blood away from these peripheral areas,
thus keeping it warm inside the body, close to vital organs like the heart.
Alcohol contradicts this security measure of our bodies
bringing warm blood to our extremities , which results in a warm feeling
but can also result in death from hypothermia!
Alcohol is a good example of the phrase "you can have too much of a good thing".
Moderate consumption of alcohol is not considered harmful.
There are even studies that suggest alcohol consumed in small amounts has positive effects on the cardiovascular system.
On the other hand, excessive ingestion is clearly associated with problems that include, among many others
hypertension, premature dementia, liver failure and problems with sexual performance.
The choice is yours...
To know more about the chemistry of alcohol visit our website quimicadascoisas.org or look for us on Facebook.