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Biology
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1.     Describe the factors that affect one’s rate of alcohol absorption.

Jul 17th, 2015

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Gender
Males have a higher concentration of an enzyme that allows them to break down alcohol more effectively than a woman. Also, alcohol is water-soluble and women tend to have a higher percentage of body fat, which does not absorb alcohol and thus results in a higher blood alcohol concentration. An additional factor is hormone differences. Research suggests that the menstrual cycle and the use of any medication containing estrogen may influence the liver's ability to metabolize alcohol.

Body Weight
A larger person has more blood and water in their body and will have a lower blood alcohol concentration(BAC) than the smaller individual.

Full vs. Empty Stomach
When food is ingested, the pyloric valve at the bottom of the stomach will close in order to hold food in the stomach for digestion and thus keep the alcohol from reaching the small intestine. The larger the meal and closer in time to drinking, the lower the peak of alcohol concentration; some studies indicate up to a 20% reduction in peak blood alcohol level.

High Stress vs. Relaxed
High Stress vs. Relaxed Alcohol is absorbed more quickly from the small intestine than it is from the stomach. Stress causes the stomach to empty directly into the small intestine, where alcohol is absorbed even faster. Decreased stress has been shown to slow the rate of gastric emptying which in turn delays the absorption of alcohol, and peak blood alcohol concentrations are reduced. (Holt, 1981)

Carbonation
Liquor mixed with soda or other bubbly drinks speeds up the passage of alcohol from the stomach to the small intestine, which increases the speed of absorption.

Medications
Other drugs and medications often have adverse effects and unpredictable interactions with alcohol. Know the potential interactions with medications/drugs you may be taking and whether or not alcohol use is contraindicated.


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Jul 17th, 2015

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