Alcohol and Human Health

Paperback | December 19, 2007

EditorLesley Smart

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Alcohol has been drunk in human societies for at least ten thousand years, and today has become a common and accepted way to unwind from the pressures of life. But people are also aware that drinking alcohol has its dangers: it impairs our reaction times; it can damage our livers; it canincrease the risk of developing certain cancers; and it can be addictive, ruining careers and lives. But there are counter-claims that small regular amounts of alcohol improve health and lengthen life. What is the truth? Alcohol and Human Health is a multidisciplinary account of the science behind drinking alcohol and its effects on human health. The book first puts the problems into perspective by looking at the global health and accident statistics relating to alcohol drinking. It then goes on to study the basicchemistry of the ethanol molecule, and explains how ethanol is absorbed and metabolised by the body, and how it damages the liver, kidneys and brain. The authors then explore the effects of drinking alcohol on behaviour, motor control and memory, and in the process, discuss the causes of addictionand the possibilities for treatment, using case stories to highlight the effects of excessive drinking. The book concludes by evaluating the evidence for the benefits of moderate drinking. Alcohol and Human Health is accompanied by a fully interactive DVD, which includes molecular models of key chemical structures featured in the book, together with animations of the alcohol 'journey' through the body illustrating its effects on the liver and at synapses in the nervous system. Also onthe DVD are videos illustrating how the effects of alcohol and placebo can be investigated experimentally, and interviews with undergraduates discussing their attitudes to drinking and with recovering alcoholics and staff at Alcoholics Anonymous. The Online Resource Centre features: For lecturers who are registered adopters of the book: - Figures from the book in electronic format, available to download For students: - Access to ROUTES, a searchable internet database of online resources compiled by academic staff and subject-specialist librarians.

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Alcohol has been drunk in human societies for at least ten thousand years, and today has become a common and accepted way to unwind from the pressures of life. But people are also aware that drinking alcohol has its dangers: it impairs our reaction times; it can damage our livers; it canincrease the risk of developing certain cancers; ...

Dr Lesley Smart joined the academic staff of the Open University in 1977 and, since that time, has contributed to many undergraduate chemistry courses, most recently chairing the production of a new level two course bringing together the teaching of organic, physical, and inorganic chemistry for the first time. The third edition of he...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:104 pages, 10.35 × 8.27 × 0.31 inPublished:December 19, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199237352

ISBN - 13:9780199237357

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Table of Contents

1. Alcohol and its effects on health1.1 Alcohol has a long history1.2 Problems in estimating alcohol consumption1.3 Variations in alcohol consumption around the world1.4 Alcohol, youth and gender - Rachel's story1.5 Alcohol and the world's health1.6 Economic costs of alcohol-related harm2. The chemistry of alcohol2.1 Introduction2.2 The alcohol molecule2.3 The properties of ethanol2.4 The metabolism of ethanol in the body2.5 The chemical reactions of ethanol2.6 Does drinking alcohol make you fat?3. Where does alcohol go in the body?3.1 Absorption of alcohol from the gut3.2 Transport of absorbed ethanol in the body3.3 Ethanol from the gut first passes through the liver3.4 The effect of ethanol on the kidneys4. Alcohol - link to brain, behaviour and mind4.1 How to understand why people drink alcohol4.2 Psychological perspectives on drinking alcohol4.3 Alcohol and the brain4.4 Associations between alcohol, smoking and sex4.5 Addiction to alcohol5. How alcohol causes short- and long-term harmful effects5.1 Introduction5.2 Hangovers5.3 Long-term problems for chronic alcoholism5.4 Nervous system damage5.5 Fetal alcohol syndrome5.6 Treatment6. Balancing harms with possible benefits6.1 Is there a 'safe' level of alcohol intake?6.2 Can moderate drinking bring any health benefits?6.3 Final Comments

Editorial Reviews

"An account of the science behind drinking alcohol and its effects on human health, putting the problems into perspective by looking at the global health and accident statistics relating to alcohol drinking."--Times Higher Education Supplement