How Does the Body Metabolize Alcohol and Where Do the Protons Go?

In summary, during the metabolism of alcohol, the protons produced go into solution and are eventually used up by other metabolic reactions. To prevent acidification, the cell has mechanisms to pump protons out of the cytosol. The balanced equation for the oxidation of acetaldehyde to acetic acid is CH3CHO + 2[O] --> CH3COOH + H2O.
  • #1
Master J
226
0
In the metabolism of alcohol, where do the protons produced go?

ie.

CH3CH2OH + NAD+ -----> CH3CHO + NADH + H+
 
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  • #2
They just go into solution. There are other metabolic reactions that will eventually use them up. To prevent acidification, the cell also has mechanisms to pump protons out of the cytosol if too many protons start building up.
 
  • #3
Am I right in saying that when the ethanol is oxidized to acetaldehyde, the acetaldehyde is oxidized to acetic acid, which is used up in the Krebs cycle?

What is the balanced equation for the oxidation of acetaldehyde to acetic acid?
 

Related to How Does the Body Metabolize Alcohol and Where Do the Protons Go?

1. How does alcohol affect the brain?

When alcohol enters the body, it travels to the brain and affects the communication between neurons. This can lead to changes in mood, behavior, and coordination. Over time, excessive alcohol consumption can also damage brain cells and lead to long-term cognitive impairment.

2. Why do people get drunk?

Alcohol is a depressant that slows down the brain's activity and impairs cognitive functions. As more alcohol is consumed, the effects become more pronounced, leading to a state of intoxication or drunkenness. The amount of alcohol needed to get drunk varies from person to person and depends on factors such as body weight, gender, and tolerance level.

3. What happens to the liver when we drink alcohol?

The liver is responsible for breaking down alcohol in the body. When we drink, the liver prioritizes metabolizing alcohol over other substances, causing it to work harder and potentially leading to liver damage. Over time, excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to liver diseases such as cirrhosis.

4. How does alcohol affect the body's hydration?

Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it causes the body to release more water through urine. This can lead to dehydration, which can cause symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and dizziness. It is important to consume water while drinking alcohol to prevent dehydration.

5. Why do some people have different reactions to alcohol?

Individuals can have different reactions to alcohol based on factors such as genetics, body composition, and previous alcohol consumption. Some people may have a higher tolerance for alcohol, while others may experience more severe effects with small amounts. It is important to drink responsibly and know your limits.

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