We are all familiar with ethanol, C2H5OH, the drug that society accepts the use of through drinks.
I hope, we are also familiar with the many problems that it brings.
Social problems aside, ethanol harms and damages the body as it is a toxic and a poison. The body also breaks it down as follows:
C2H5OH is oxidised to CH3CHO (ethanal) which is also oxidised to CH3COOH (ethanoic acid) by an enzyme called ‘alcohol dehydrogenase’. The ethanoic acid can be reacted with oxygen in cells to produce CO2 and H2O.
Scientists used to think that it was the ethanol that caused the associated physical side effects on the body but now think that ethanal is 30 times more toxic than the alcohol.