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During the alcohol metabolic pathway, harmful by-products are made like acetaldehyde, hydroxyethyl, superox­ide anions, and hydroxyl radicals. How do these toxic compounds harm our tissues? Many of these intermediates are the compounds that are responsible for hangovers, but are they also the molecular cause of liver damage?

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This answer gives a nice explanation of hangovers. – terdon Nov 26 '13 at 0:42
Thanks! I've tweaked the question so that it's not a duplicate. – James Nov 26 '13 at 23:32
It wasn't a dupe before either, just figured you might be interested. – terdon Nov 26 '13 at 23:36
That particular sentence was a bit 'dupy' when I read it back. The other answer was interesting though! I'll stick to clear liquors if I don't want to feel so bad in the morning! It seems we are still unclear of the actual cellular damage. The article mostly discusses the dehydrating factors. Hopefully someone will be able to post newer answer with more molecular information. – James Nov 28 '13 at 1:54
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Superoxide radicals , basically damage the lipid bilayers. affecting the efficient gradient. for example H+ ion gradient across lipid bilayer in ETC is very important. this gradient is affected if superoxide radicals are present.

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