Toxicology and the biological role of methanol and ethanol: Current view

Miroslav Pohanka
Biomedical Papers of the Medical Faculty of the University Palacký, Olomouc, Czechoslovakia 2016, 160 (1): 54-63

BACKGROUND: Alcohol variants such as ethanol and methanol are simple organic compounds widely used in foods, pharmaceuticals, chemical synthesis, etc. Both are becoming an emerging health problem; abuse of ethanol containing beverages can lead to disparate health problems and methanol is highly toxic and unfit for consumption.

METHODS AND RESULTS: This review summarizes the basic knowledge about ethanol and methanol toxicity, the effect mechanism on the body, the current care of poisoned individuals and the implication of alcohols in the development of diseases. Alcohol related dementia, stroke, metabolic syndrome and hepatitis are discussed as well. Besides ethanol, methanol toxicity and its biodegradation pathways are addressed.

CONCLUSIONS: The impact of ethanol and methanol on the body is shown as case reports, along with a discussion on the possible implication of alcohol in Alzheimer's disease and antidotal therapy for methanol poisoning. The role of ethanol in cancer and degenerative disorders seems to be underestimated given the current knowledge. Treatment in case of poisoning is another issue that remains unresolved even though effective protocols and drugs exist.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.