Table of contents:
- A little about biochemistry
- Alcohol and the northern diet
- Alcohol habit and alcohol dependence
- Alcoholic traditions of peoples living on the territory of Russia
- Interesting Facts
Humanity has been drinking alcohol for many centuries. However, it affects representatives of certain peoples of the human race in different ways. The same can be said about the consequences of drinking alcohol-containing beverages. Why the effect of alcoholic beverages on homo sapiens is so different, experts said.
A little about biochemistry
No matter how trivial it may sound, ethylene (the main constituent of any alcohol) is a potent poison for any biological organism. However, its action can be neutralized with the help of special enzymes, which nature has prudently supplied to almost all of its living creatures, including humans. The largest organ of the human body, the liver, is responsible for the production of these enzymes.
Immediately after alcohol enters the human body, the liver begins to actively work on breaking down and further excreting it. In representatives of some peoples and nations, by nature, the level of "anti-alcoholic" enzymes is lower than in others. This applies primarily to the Chinese, Koreans, Mongols and Japanese. As for the widespread opinion about the absence of "anti-alcoholic enzymes" in the organisms of the northern peoples - Nenets, Chukchi, Evenki, things are a little different here. The reason for this is the peculiarities of the diet of the inhabitants of the North.
Alcohol and the northern dietDue to the peculiarities of the climate, the inhabitants of the northern regions of the planet are forced to eat fatty foods that are rich in proteins and animal proteins. Such a diet helps northerners to cope with extremely low temperatures more easily, promotes faster healing of wounds and injuries. Also, the "northern diet" over the years has developed resistance to diseases of the cardiovascular system among the Chukchi, Evenks and other peoples of the North. At the same time, the share of carbohydrates in the food of northerners has always been very insignificant.
It is these factors that are the reason that acetaldehyde, one of the decomposition products of alcohol, accumulates in the body of the indigenous people of the northern regions in large quantities in a relatively short period of time. And biochemistry is to blame. Due to the fact that ethyl alcohol is "processed" in the human body by the same metabolic pathway as fatty foods. Consequently, the combined use of alcohol and animal protein provokes extreme stress on the liver, which simply does not have time to cope with the removal of alcoholic toxins.
A completely opposite situation is observed among residents of the more southern latitudes of the planet.
The abundance of fruits and vegetables, which have always been in sufficient quantities in the diets of southerners, made their diet, if not completely carbohydrate, then an order of magnitude more varied than the diet of northerners. The absence of a large amount of animal fat, along with the presence of dietary fiber in the food of the inhabitants of the South, allows the liver not to burn its entire resource for processing only food, but also to leave enzymes for the breakdown of alcohol.
Alcohol habit and alcohol dependence
Despite the fact that many of these two phrases may seem the same in meaning and content, in fact they describe completely different things.According to many scientists, the fact that the inhabitants of the North tolerate the effect of ethyl alcohol on their bodies worse than the peoples living in the southern latitudes is primarily due to the habit of drinking alcohol. After all, southerners have been actively producing and drinking alcoholic beverages since ancient times. While the northerners were deprived of the opportunity to learn the art of winemaking.
Experts are sure that in the course of evolution, the organism of peoples living in southern latitudes got used to alcohol - the liver in sufficient quantities learned to produce "anti-ethylene" enzymes. Whereas the organisms of representatives of the peoples of the North, deprived of the ability to produce and consume alcohol, remained not adapted to the metabolism of this substance. Therefore, the Chukchi and the Nenets get drunk faster than, for example, the Greeks or the French. And northerners become chronic alcoholics much more often than residents of more southern regions.
Alcoholic traditions of peoples living on the territory of RussiaMany researchers believe that the influence of alcohol on representatives of different peoples largely depends on how widespread it was in a particular territory in the past. For example, intolerance to alcohol, as well as quick addiction to it in some ethnic groups, may be due to the fact that the only alcoholic drink they had was kumis with a strength of up to 3%.
A stronger alcoholic drink based on milk - Araki (about 20% alc.), Was prepared by some peoples of Southern Siberia. However, like kumis, the preparation and consumption of "Araki" was not widespread due to the strategic value of milk as a food product. That is why northerners do not have natural "alcoholic immunity".
Things were completely different in the Central zone and in the South. There were more than enough raw materials for making alcohol. Various wines were made from grapes and some other fruits. The same fruits (as well as some vegetables) and cereals were used to make mash, from which later, by distillation, a stronger alcohol was obtained. Consequently, the use of alcohol in these regions has been common since ancient times. Thus, genetically Georgians, Moldovans, Ukrainians, Russians and other peoples are more resistant to the influence of alcohol and less susceptible to addiction to its use.
Fans of mezcal, an alcoholic beverage similar to tequila, know that this alcohol is sold with an insect larva at the bottom of the bottle. However, this was not always the mescal's “trick”. Until 1940, the presence of a larva in a bottle meant that the drink was not of the highest quality, as it was made from agave infested with the pests - the caterpillars of the gusano moth. However, marketers later decided to use the "worm", which the Mexicans jokingly called "Juanito", as a marketing ploy to popularize the drink.
There are people in the world who do not have to drink alcohol to get drunk. There are quite a few of them and they all suffer from a rare disease that scientists call "autobrewery syndrome." This disease is characterized by the fact that the human body is not able to assimilate carbohydrates. As a result, they undergo fermentation in the intestines, synthesizing alcohol, which enters the human bloodstream and causes intoxication.
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