How Alcohol Retards Digestion
And here, in order to deliver individuals who aren’t acquainted with, the method of digestion, a clear idea of that vital operation, and the effect produced while alcohol is fascinated with food, we quote from the lecture of an English doctor, Dr. Henry Monroe, on “The Physiological Action of Alcohol.” He says:
“Every type of substance employed with the aid of guy as food consists of sugar, starch, oil and glutinous subjects, mingled collectively in numerous proportions; those are designed for the aid of the animal body. The glutinous standards of meals fibrine, albumen and casein are employed to build up the shape; while the oil, starch and sugar are chiefly used to generate warmth inside the body.
“The first step of the digestive technique is the breaking up of the food in the mouth with the aid of the jaws and tooth. On this being performed, the saliva, a viscid liquor, is poured into the mouth from the salivary glands, and as it mixes with the meals, it plays a very crucial part in the operation of digestion, rendering the starch of the meals soluble, and progressively changing it into a sort of sugar, and then the opposite ideas emerge as more miscible with it. Nearly a pint of saliva is provided every twenty-four hours for the usage of an adult. When the meals has been masticated and combined with the saliva, it is then passed into the belly, in which it’s miles acted upon by using a juice secreted by means of the filaments of that organ, and poured into the belly in massive portions every time meals comes in contact with its mucous coats. It consists of a dilute acid recognised to the chemists as hydrochloric acid, composed of hydrogen and chlorine, united collectively in certain particular proportions. The gastric juice includes, also, a weird organic-ferment or decomposing substance, containing nitrogen something of the character of yeast termed pepsine , that is without problems soluble within the acid just named. That gastric juice acts as a simple chemical solvent, is proved by using the fact that, after dying, it has been acknowledged to dissolve the stomach itself.”
It is an blunders to suppose that, after an amazing dinner, a glass of spirits or beer assists digestion; or that any liquor containing alcohol even sour beer can in any way help digestion. Mix a few bread and meat with gastric juice; area them in a phial, and maintain that phial in a sand-bath at the slow warmth of ninety eight ranges, occasionally shaking promptly the contents to imitate the movement of the belly; you will locate, after six or eight hours, the complete contents combined into one pultaceous mass. If to any other phial of food and gastric juice, handled in the identical manner, I upload a tumbler of light ale or a amount of alcohol, on the cease of seven or 8 hours, or even some days, the food is scarcely acted upon in any respect. This is a fact; and in case you are led to ask why, I answer, because alcohol has the strange power of chemically affecting or decomposing the gastric juice by way of precipitating one in every of its essential components, viz., pepsine, rendering its solvent houses a good deal less efficacious. Hence alcohol can not be considered either as food or as a solvent for food. Not as the latter in reality, for it refuses to act with the gastric juice.
“‘It is a high-quality fact,’ says Dr. Dundas Thompson, ‘that alcohol, whilst added to the digestive fluid, produces a white precipitate, so that the fluid is no longer capable of digesting animal or vegetable matter.’ ‘The use of alcoholic stimulants,’ say Drs. Todd and Bowman, ‘retards digestion by means of coagulating the pepsine, an important detail of the gastric juice, and thereby interfering with its movement. Were it now not that wine and spirits are swiftly absorbed, the introduction of these into the stomach, in any amount, might be a entire bar to the digestion of meals, because the pepsine could be prompted from the solution as quickly because it become shaped by using the belly.’ Spirit, in any amount, as a nutritional adjunct, is pernicious due to its antiseptic features, which resist the digestion of meals via the absorption of water from its debris, in direct antagonism to chemical operation.”