Re: Re: Re: Tequilas again (11/06/13 20:59:30)
Methanol in itself is less inebriating than ethanol - disappointingly so.
The toxicity of methanol is much higher when it is consumed alone, that is: without ethanol. Ethanol inhibits the development of toxicity because formic acid is the toxic entity.
So the toxicity depends (in the dangerous direction) on the rate of formation of formic acid, and (in the safe direction) on the effective removal of formic acid by renal excretion and by safe removal of one-carbon fragment by folate-dependent mechanisms (to most animals methanol isn't a toxin because of effective removal. Test animals for methanol toxicity are monkeys).
There are no good data for consumption in various methanol victims - circumstantial evidence says that most of those who die of methanol, die unnoticed - with no diagnosis, no explanation, no contact with healthcare and police.
Wikipedia says the typical intoxication is by some 100 mL - some 1 gram per kg body weight - but then combined with ethanol.
I think the Food and Drug Administration of USA regard as safe up to 400 mg (0,3 mL) per 24 hours - but that is with a safety margin and taken without ethanol.
But then there is the question that I cannot answer: At what intake is there a reversible effect on the eye? How much of the hangover of too much ethanol is due to methanol? I have no scientific evidence about this. I have a suspicion that I sometimes have visual disturbances the morning after drinking beer and aquavit (which I hate but cannot avoid because it is a national tradition), and some red wines too.
So - in the end I cannot give any good answer. How much must it be to be a problem?
But drinking liquors that are "fortified" with 20 percent methanol or more is definitely dangerous.
I would even stay away from tequila. Take away the methanol, and I might change my mind.
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