General, Research, Technology

What animals can drink alcohol and not get drunk?

People have been drinking alcohol for a very long time. Archaeologists have already found evidence that beer was brewed already 13,000 (!) Years ago in the territory where Israel is now located. For obvious reasons, you can’t try this drink. But not only a person has a weakness for drinks containing ethanol. So, on the craving for alcohol, they already "caught" the elephants, who specially chose those fruits for food that allow them to get drunk. In addition, some primates sometimes intentionally look for overripe fruits containing ethyl alcohol or fermented juice. In their case, this is due to the need for additional calories. But which animals are the most resistant to alcohol?

The primates and humans found something else in common

While people jokingly (hopefully) try to get waterbeer dogs and cats, scientists from the Canadian University of Calgary were able to assess the ability of mammals to process ethyl alcohol. The larger it is, the longer the animal can drink alcohol and not get drunk. To find out, university staff decided to find out the content of the ADH7 gene in different mammals: it is it that prevents intoxication, produced not only in the stomach, but also in the oral cavity and even the esophagus.

The study involved 85 speciesmammals - from cetaceans and primates to rodents, artiodactyls and proboscis. Scientists studied the presence of the ADH7 gene in a particular species, as well as the presence of mutations in animals, which could lead to the fact that this gene does not function to its full potential. In addition, the diet of animals was also taken into account: if it eats more fruits and drinks nectar, its immunity to ethanol should be higher.

What animals drink alcohol?

In some animals, such as horses, ADH7it was not found at all, but in the majority it was still found - 79 out of 85 species have this gene. True, as the researchers note, in many cases the gene turned into a pseudogen: that is, it used to be, but due to evolution it ceased to function, although it left a small mark. To these animals, scientists attributed guinea pigs, rhinos and many others. So do not try to drink your guinea pig, it is not able to efficiently process ethanol, and can die from alcohol.

The most active ADH7 gene was found in primates.(coincidence? I don’t think) and bats - for example, in bats. These animals are able to process alcohol ten times better than other mammals, that is, they can consume alcohol and do not feel intoxicated for a long time. According to scientists, the results of the study can not be transferred to people, because in the human body there are many other enzymes that process ethanol.

No wonder primates love fruit and nectars so much - look how pleased

But if you use it too muchamount, no enzymes can cope, and alcoholic intoxication will inevitably occur, which can subsequently go into poisoning. If you do not drink alcohol in moderation, the brain will constantly be in a state as if it lacks oxygen. This will lead to the degradation of many mental and physical functions - a condition comparable to drinking a lot of alcohol at a time. A person cannot stand upright and does not give an account for his actions. And alcoholism is not far.

Scientists have calculated how much alcohol can you drink without severe harm to health. But we would not recommend checking.

What affects alcohol tolerance?

Researchers concluded that on the abilityMany factors influence alcohol transfer - from the evolutionary history of the animal to the ecological environment in which it lives. Therefore, in our Telegram chat, laboratory experiments with alcohol in mice and rats are often called into question: their lifestyle is too different from the human one.

At the same time, some people (although it’s rarecases) are able to get drunk without drinking alcohol at all. One American just got drunk when eating food - the carbohydrates in his intestines interacted with brewer's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, resulting in the formation of alcohol. Subsequently, it enters the bloodstream of a person, which is enough for intoxication. The thing is that for a long time he took medications that affected the intestinal microbiome, which increased the number of fungi.

Not only can they deal with alcoholmammals, but also some species of fish. For example, goldfish and crucian carp are able to suspend almost all vital processes, when necessary, and fall into a state of suspended animation. Ethanol in their body is produced using special proteins that process lactic acid into alcohol. The longer the goldfish spends in an oxygen-free ice medium, the more it produces lactic acid and, as a result, ethanol. That is why these fish so adroitly freeze in ice and thus survive the winter at temperatures below zero.