Tuesday, 25 August 2015


Ethanol is an active compound in alcohol. In the gut, enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase breaks down alcohol into acetyldehyde but only a small fraction of alcohol is metabolized here. [1]

Alcohol absorption starts in the stomach though negligible. Absorption of alcohol mainly takes place in the duodenum and jejunum accounting for 70 - 80% of the alcohol consumed. If alcohol is taken on an empty stomach, blood alcohol level peaks after 45 minutes and 90 minutes if alcohol is taken after ingestion of food. Alcohol may be excreted from the body unchanged through sweat, breath, urine and the kidneys. Alcohol is also excreted in breast milk at 10% higher concentration than that in the blood. [2]

FOOD- people who drink on an empty stomach are more predisposed to the toxic effects of alcohol than people who drink after eating. Alcohol is absorbed nearly three folds faster than in people who drink after eating. Alcohol is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract faster when the stomach is empty. Empty stomach also enhances faster emptying into the small intestines where absorption of alcohol is more efficient. This leads to rapid rise in blood alcohol levels and rapid inebriation. The type of food eaten plays a significant role in alcohol absorption. Foods with delayed stomach emptying like fatty foods delay alcohol absorption significantly than foods whose gastric emptying is fast.[1][2]
BODY WEIGHT AND BUILTI once worked in a mission hospital and would have a drinking spree over the weekend in company of three damn friends Alex, Paul, Sylvester and I (Sam). Alcohol had a big toll on Alex and Sylvester than it had for Paul. Alex was lean and fatty while Paul and Sylvester were masculine. Lets see why the alcohol had a toll on our two friends.[1][2]
Individuals with higher muscle and body weight are able to tolerate more alcohol than people with less muscle and less body weight. Alcohol is soluble in water. Muscle tissue is rich in water and provides greater space in which alcohol is distributed in the body preventing rapid rise in blood alcohol level. People who weigh more provides ample areas in which alcohol can also be distributed in the body giving them a merit over people who weigh less.
Alcohol is insoluble in fat media. People who have more fat than lean mass are more predisposed to rapid rise in blood alcohol concentration than people who more lean mass than fat tissue.
These facts substantiates the grounds in which alcohol has a toll on some of us but as for you Sylvester we need to come together and have a closer look on you because I really don't know why alcohol had a toll on you. [1]

GENDER- Females have a low level of enzyme dehydrogenase which breaks down alcohol in the gut before absorption. [Ncadd]
Female also weigh less than male limiting the surface area in which alcohol can be distributed. Female have more fat tissue as compared to men. These factors points out that female genders are more predisposed to toxic effects of alcohol as their blood alcohol level rise rapidly as opposed to the opposite sex. [1][2]

CONCENTRATION OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGEAbout 20 -30% of the ingested alcohol diffuses into the circulation in the stomach. Further absorption of about 70 -80% takes place in the small intestines. Taking strong alcoholic beverages esp those with 20% alcohol concentration may trigger spasms at the distal portion (pyloric spasms) of the stomach inhibiting stomach from emptying the consumed alcohol into the intestines where absorption is more efficient. This slows down alcohol absorption. [2]

1. National Institute of Health (US); Biological Sciences Curriculum Study. NIH Curriculum Supplement Series (internet) Bethesda (MD); National Institute of Health (US) 2007 -Information about Alcohol. Address: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK20360/

2. INSERM Collective Expertise Centre. INSERM Collective Expert Reports [internet]. Paris; Institut National de la sante et de la recherche medicale; 2000-.Alcohol: Health Effects 2001. Address: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK7116/#!po=0.0687758.