What Neutralizes Alcohol On The Breath
If you’re a regular drinker, there’s probably no one who has ever told you that they could actually detect alcohol on your breath. This is because most people are unaware of how quickly and completely the body metabolizes ethanol (alcohol). In fact, it takes about two hours for all the alcohol in any given amount to be eliminated from the bloodstream. And since every person’s metabolism works differently, some folks may eliminate alcohol more slowly than others.
The way alcohol gets into your system is by means of the digestive tract. When food containing alcohol is eaten, the stomach breaks down these molecules using enzymes. As this happens, alcohol is released into the blood stream as acetaldehyde. After it passes through the liver, however, the body begins breaking down acetaldehyde into acetic acid and carbon dioxide.
Because of the speed at which alcohol leaves the body, many drinkers believe that drinking large amounts will result in less hangover symptoms. But the truth is that even if an individual does not have much of an ability to break down alcohol, he or she still experiences unpleasant side effects after consuming it. These include nausea, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, constipation, diarrhea and drowsiness.
Although alcohol has been shown to produce feelings of euphoria, it also causes insomnia, anxiety, confusion and memory loss. For these reasons, it’s best that we don’t consume too much alcohol. However, when we do imbibe, it’s important to know what factors contribute to the lingering ill effects associated with alcohol abuse.
One such factor is the presence of bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria like to feed off sugars found in alcoholic beverages. Once inside our bodies, these germs then cause infections, abscesses, pneumonia, periodontal disease and other serious health problems.
Another problem is caused by the chemicals produced during the breakdown of alcohol. Specifically, ethyl-mercury is formed by combining toxic metals with the ethyl group present in ethanol. A heavy metal poison, mercury vapor is inhaled and absorbed into the brain where it disrupts normal neurological function. It can also accumulate in fatty tissues throughout the body causing brain damage, paralysis, coma and death.
Fortunately, there are ways to neutralize alcohol so that its harmful effects aren’t experienced long after consumption. One method involves taking a few drops of hydrogen peroxide directly into the mouth. By doing so, you’ll reduce the amount of alcohol being taken up into the intestines.
This is because H2O2 contains oxygen atoms bonded to hydrogen atoms. Because of this, when hydrogen peroxide comes into contact with alcohol, it reacts by destroying the chemical bonds between them. Consequently, instead of getting drunk, the person ends up feeling nauseated, tired and lightheaded.
It’s also possible to use baking soda as another type of antidote. To make a homemade remedy, dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking soda into 2 tablespoons of water. Then swish the solution around your mouth thoroughly several times before spitting it out. You should then wait about 20 minutes until the mixture becomes foamy. Next, swallow the concoction and wash it down with lots of water. If you feel thirsty, you can also take a couple sips of plain white grape juice or orange juice.
Another helpful technique is to chew sugarless gum. Sugar stimulates the production of saliva which dilutes and therefore weakens the strength of alcohol. Chewing sugarless gum promotes the flow of saliva, which helps flush toxins out of the digestive tract.
And lastly, you can try rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater. Salts contain sodium ions which bind to hydroxide ions. When mixed together, these form a compound known as “hydroxyalkali,” which is said to have strong anti-bacterial properties.
So next time you find yourself thinking about having a quick drink, remember to brush your teeth first!
Alcohol is broken down into Acetaldehyde by the Liver and then converted into Carbon Dioxide & Water via the Kidneys. There are certain foods that promote the conversion of alcohol into acetaldehyde, thus increasing the rate of absorption. Common foods that increase alcohol absorption include raw onions, hot sauce, vinegar, and red wine. Foods that inhibit alcohol absorption include yogurt, bananas, milk, honey, green vegetables, and cabbage.
“Hydroxypropyl cellulose”-a substance used in over-the-counter products that prevent the reabsorption of alcohol. It prevents the formation of acetaldehyde by binding to proteins in the lining of the small intestine. It is readily available at drugstores.
“N-Acetylcysteine”-an amino acid derivative that protects against alcohol-induced gastric ulceration. This product is thought to work by protecting gastric mucosa from the damaging effects of free radicals. N-acetylcysteine is readily available at drugstores.
“Phenobarbital”-used to treat alcohol withdrawal, barbiturate poisoning, seizures, and severe nervousness. Phenobarbital increases GABA levels in the central nervous system. It acts as a GABA agonist, meaning that it binds to receptors in the same manner as natural neurotransmitters. It is readily available at drug stores.
“Salicylate”-commonly referred to as aspirin. It reduces the effect of alcohol on platelets within the blood vessels. It is readily available at drug stores.
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