Know the FactsHelping you make informed decisions about your drinking
Metabolism of Alcohol
Our bodies do not store alcohol, so alcohol has to be processed and removed as we drink it. Most of this job is done by the liver. The 10% of alcohol not processed by the liver is removed through our urine, sweat and breath.
Factors that influence the metabolic process
Food in your stomach
Having food in your stomach will slow down the rate of alcohol absorption. This means it won’t enter your bloodstream as quickly, and your blood alcohol concentration won’t rise as quickly.
Women have a lighter body weight and a slower activity level of the enzyme ADH. Because of this, women don’t break down alcohol as quickly as men, keeping more of it in the blood.
Damaged and unhealthy livers have a reduced ability to break down alcohol, keeping blood alcohol concentrations higher for longer.
The liver enzymes used to break down alcohol differ from person to person, depending on genetic make-up. These enzymes work at different rates, meaning some people will naturally process alcohol faster than others.
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