A lecture on the chemistry of alcohol and hangovers by Professor Diane Bunce was featured March 16 in a video on the American Chemistry Society's "Bytesize Science" Web site. Included in Bunce's lecture was a video produced by three CUA students that shows the effects of alcohol on behavior. Click on the link below to see the American Chemical Society's coverage of Bunce's St. Patrick's Day-themed lecture. The Washington Post's college blog, " Campus Overload ," the Los Angeles Times' health blog, " Booster Shots ," and Time's " Wellness " blog also wrote about Bunce's lecture.

The Chemistry of Alcohol and Hangovers

From: ByteSize Science Date: March 16, 2010 Author: Adam Dylewski

Professor Diane Bunce talks about the chemistry behind a Breathalyzer with (from left) teaching assistants Evan Bordt and Maribeth Armenio and doctoral candidates Kelly Neiles and Elizabeth Flens.
Anyone who needs a reason not to overindulge on St. Patrick's Day -- or on any other day of the year -- can view a new American Chemical Society (ACS) video on alcohol's effects on the body. The Chemistry of Alcohol and Hangovers illustrates in brilliant high-definition detail the unpleasant aftereffects that excessive drinking can have on the body. The video, released today, showcases a lecture on the topic by Diane Bunce, professor of chemistry at The Catholic University of America.A recipient of the ACS Helen Free Award for Public Outreach, Bunce is associate editor for chemical education research for ACS' "Journal of Chemical Education."Bunce delivered the lecture as part of a chemistry course for nonscience majors at CUA.  "The students include majors in politics, education, English, history, philosophy, and other fields," Bunce noted.  "It's an excellent group to educate about the chemistry behind real-world issues."The video was produced by the ACS Office of Public Affairs and illustrates the chemistry behind these and other side effects of hangovers:
  • Headaches, caused by low blood sugar and allergic reactions to certain ingredients in liquor.
  • Nausea and upset stomach, resulting from alcohol's irritant effect, which stimulates the secretion of acid in the stomach.
  • Thirst, the result of alcohol's dehydrating effects on the body.
  • Blood sugar levels, which increase for about an hour, and then drop to low levels that contribute to hangover symptoms.

To see video of the segment, click here .