Alcohol - a curse or a blessing?
Alcohol slows down brain communications.
It also combines with the brain's fatty acids and forms compounds called fatty-acid-ethyl esters. These compounds, in turn, change the flow of electric and chemical signals in the brain.
A molecule of fatty-acid-ethyl ester latches onto and enters a nerve cell.
Inside the cell, the compound speeds up the release of potassium ions, which inhibits the release of neurotransmitters and slows down communication between cells. This is how alcohol helps people relax by calming down frantic neurotransmitter activity.
Alcoholic beers such as bitter and some lagers can enhance this further because of the calming and sedating effect of the hops used in the brewing process. You can see that if you were an under methylator with a low turnover of neurotransmitters, you would be a dull, unexcitable individual. Throw alcohol in and you could descend into a morbid depression.
Interestingly, moderate alcohol intake has the effect of raising neurotransmitters in the long term. It does this by slowing down neurotransmitter turnover, so conserving the nutrients required for their manufacture, ie you are making them faster than you are using them.
Alcohol abuse however, has a detrimental effect on brain and liver chemistry, which inevitably results in a lowered state of mental and physical health.