Alcohol – Its effect on SIRT1

September 11, 2022

Alcohol use has been linked with detrimental effects on human health. One of the key effects seems to be in signalling of SIRT1 or sirtuin1. SIRT1 is a protein found in the human body. SIRT1 plays a role in the regulation of cholesterol and balance of fat. It also plays a role in increasing the levels of acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is a gas that damages your membranes and create scar tissue. Experts believe that these scar tissues end up causing cancer.

So what is it about alcohol that is harmful?

Beer, wine, vodka or whiskey, most alcohol uses ethanol. Ethanol is used in alcoholic beverages. It can be distilled from a variety of plant materials. For example, beer is made by fermenting grains such as barley or corn. By the way, your cleaning liquid is also made from ethanol. In fact, many countries are working to blend ethanol in your fuel to power your car. In your body, it triggers a host of cascading effects.
When your body metabolises alcohol, it undergoes two processes known as redox. Oxidation and reduction. During this process, acetaldehyde is produced. If you can’t get enough oxygen into your cells, the ethanol converts into acetaldehyde. It does this to remove it from your body, possible through urine. While it remains in your body, it scars tissue and damages your membrane.
As your body works to digest ethanol, it affects enzymes in your body. One enzyme in particular known as NAD+. NAD+ is essential for cells in your body to use energy. It is also necessary for the regulating of your genes and the growth of cells. Alcohol consumes these enzymes affecting cellular metabolism.
Alcohol is a potent inhibitor of SIRT1. It affects NAD+ and is associated with a host of adverse health outcomes. Some people can tolerate more alcohol than others. As always, if you drink, please do with a lot of caution.

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