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Alcohol and human health

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What impact does alcohol have on the body? From a 'hangover' to cirrhosis this free course, Alcohol and human health, looks at the harmful effects of alcohol both in the short and long term.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • describe the effects that ethanol in the blood has on the body – specifically the effect on drivers’ judgement at blood-alcohol concentrations near the legal limit for driving and the serious effects of blood-alcohol concentrations in excess of 200 mg/100 ml
  • describe the short-term effects experienced following excessive alcohol consumption. Comment on the relationship between these complex effects and ethanol metabolites or congeners, the various ‘remedies’ adopted, and that the physiological basis for these economically important short-term harmful effects remains poorly understood
  • discuss some of the long-term harmful effects of drinking excessive alcohol with specific reference to the three stages of alcoholic liver disease and central and peripheral nervous system damage
  • discuss fetal alcohol syndrome, describing the main effects on the fetus and some of the factors that can make research into this disorder more complex.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 6 hours
  • Updated Thursday 24th March 2016
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Biology
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Alcohol and human health

Introduction

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This course describes some of the effects of drinking alcohol. It looks at alcohol's journey through the body and its effect on the liver. It also discusses some possible beneficial effects. This is an important health issue and should be of wide interest.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 1 study in Science [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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