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Medicine LibreTexts

Chapter 17: Alcohol

Alcohol is produced when yeast in the absence of oxygen ferment a food source like grains or grapes. The sugar in these food sources is converted to alcohol.  Humankind has been drinking beverages that contain alcohol for thousands of years.  In fact, the ancient Egyptians paid their slaves with beer.  Along with a low alcohol content, these ancient beers were a good source of vitamins and antibiotics like tetracycline, the reason some mummies glow under ultraviolet lights.  Today, alcohol containing beverages do not have the plethora of vitamins and tetracycline because society has focused on maximizing the alcohol content.