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What is the Value of Alcohol to Your Body? Part 2 of 4

1 I talked about alcohol as being part of a food group, which we found not to be true.Now I would like to explore the idea that alcohol is a good producer of heat. "The first usual test for a force-producing food," says Dr. Hunt, "and that to which other foods of that class respond, is the production of heat in the combination of oxygen therewith. This heat means vital force, and is, in no small degree, a measure of the comparative value of the so-called respiratory foods. If we examine the fats, the starches and the sugars, we can trace and estimate the processes by which they evolve heat and are changed into vital force, and can weigh the capacities of different foods. We find that the consumption of carbon by union with oxygen is the law, that heat is the product, and that the legitimate result is force, while the result of the union of the hydrogen of the foods with oxygen is water. If alcohol comes at all under this class of foods, we rightly expect to find some of the evidences which attach to the hydrocarbons." What, then, is the result of experiments in this direction? Men of the highest attainments in chemistry and physiology have conducted them through long periods and with the greatest care, and the result is given in these few words, by Dr. H.R. Wood, Jr., in his Materia Medica. "No one has been able to detect in the blood any of the ordinary results of its oxidation." That is, no one has been able to find that alcohol has undergone combustion, like fat, or starch, or sugar, and so given heat to the body.Without combustion no heat can be derived.So alcohol can raise temperature, but it can lower it.It has been know for some time that alcohol reduces temperature instead of increasing it; and it has even been used in fevers as an anti-pyretic. So uniform has been the testimony of physicians in Europe and America as to the cooling effects of alcohol, that Dr. Wood says, in his Materia Medica, "that it does not seem worth while to occupy space with a discussion of the subject." Liebermeister, one of the most learned contributors to Zeimssen's Cyclopaedia of the Practice of Medicine, 1875, says: "I long since convinced myself, by direct experiments, that alcohol, even in comparatively large doses, does not elevate the temperature of the body in either well or sick people." So well had this become known to Arctic voyagers, that, even before physiologists had demonstrated the fact that alcohol reduced, instead of increasing, the temperature of the body, they had learned that spirits lessened their power to withstand extreme cold. "In the Northern regions," says Edward Smith, "it was proved that the entire exclusion of spirits was necessary, in order to retain heat under these unfavorable conditions." So through hundreds of experiments and tests, it has been proven that alcohol does not raise the body temperature.In fact it does the reverse by lower the body temperature.So it is important that alcohol is not consumed when extreme cold situations are encountered. In the next part of this series I well discuss the area of strength.Does alcohol make you stronger?As I continue this discussion how alcohol affects your body in Part 3 of this 4 Part series.


About the Author: Dave Fitzgerald writes articles on health and showing ways to live longer, happier and more successful in your everyday life. 
You will find more articles at http://www.agingwellnesscenter.com/article_center.htm




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