Alcohol is a depressant (a drug that slows down the nervous system) and is the component of beer, wine, and spirits that gets people drunk. The kind of alcohol that humans consume is called ethanol, and we’ve been making it for thousands of years by fermenting grains, fruits, or vegetables.

When someone drinks an alcoholic beverage, the chemicals can result in reduced inhibitions, poor coordination, and memory and concentration problems. A lot of alcohol can lead to dehydration, nausea, vomiting, and even death. Because alcohol is a toxin, long-term overconsumption of alcohol can result in chronic health issues like brain damage, cancer, and liver diseases. However, occasional, moderate consumption of alcohol can be quite healthy.

Learn More:

Drink to Your Health: Why Alcohol is Good For You
10 Healthier Beers (and How to Choose the Right One)
The 13 Biggest Myths About Alcohol, Busted
How to Choose the Healthiest Beer, Wine, and Cocktails [INFOGRAPHIC]
60 Healthier Drinks for Boozing
Is Drinking Red Wine Actually Good For You?

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