Taylor Discusses Bio-metabolism of Alcohol

Erika Taylor, assistant professor of chemistry, assistant professor of environmental studies, spoke on “Alcohol and You” at a luncheon March 3. She discussed alcohol metabolism, liver disease, brain damage, youth and college drinking, and healthful drinking.

Student attendees learned how the liver has more than 1,500 functions including detoxifying poisons, filtering bacteria from the blood and regulating metabolism. Taylor explained how liver disease, which may be caused by binge drinking, can lead to cirrhosis and a dramatic loss in liver function. Students also learned that many diseases are aggravated by alcohol including heart disease, pregnancy, cardiovascular disease and gout.

Taylor spoke about Wilbur Olin Atwater, a former professor of chemistry at Wesleyan. Atwater constructed the calorimeter to prove the law of conservation of energy in humans and investigated the nutritive value of alcohol and other foods.

Joyce Walter, director of the University Health Center, defines “moderate drinking.”

Rachel Warren ’14, a member of the Alcohol and Other Drugs Committee and Wesleyan Student Assembly representative, speaks at the meeting.

Several students, such as Genelle Faulkner ’13, posed questions during the discussion. The event was sponsored by the Alcohol and Other Drugs Committee and WesWell. (Photos by Olivia Drake)