Some people just tend to drink more alcohol than other people. Some drinkers are more prone to falling into addiction than others. It is common to wonder why this might be. Luckily, science does have some answers to these concerns.
Drinking heavily can cause a lot of health problems. These health problems include liver disease or even cancer. But some people still drink. And some people are more likely to have these issues than others.
The reason behind this may simple enough. It’s about how the body metabolizes alcohol. That means how fast the body breaks down the alcohol and gets it through the bloodstream. This takes time.
It does not matter how much alcohol a person drinks. This is because the body can only metabolize so much at a time. This goes by the hour. That is why if someone drinks more alcohol within a two hours span their blood alcohol concentration is higher.
How Your Body Metabolizes Alcohol
Their body just can’t do anything with it.
When you drink alcohol, it goes into the stomach. From there it is absorbed into the bloodstream. The enzymes are chemicals that can help break down other chemicals start getting to work for you. They metabolize alcohol.
Two liver enzymes take over this duty. Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) take over. They break apart the alcohol molecules. This is so that it can be eliminated from the body completely.
The ADH is there and turns the alcohol into acetaldehyde.
This Is Actually Very Toxic For You
Acetaldehyde doesn’t linger long. It only sticks around until it is changed into acetate. That’s the duty of other enzymes. It breaks down even more into the water. It’s only there for a short while, but it is very toxic. It is a known carcinogen. Carcinogens are what are known to cause cancer.
Most alcohol leaves via the enzyme process described. But not all. Some are formed into fatty acid ethyl esters. They are some compounds that can actually damage the pancreas and liver.
Some alcohol isn’t even metabolized at all. It comes out in breath and urine. That’s how blood alcohol concentration can be measured.
Acetaldehyde is Definitely Dangerous
Acetaldehyde can hurt your liver. This is because the liver is where most alcohol is metabolized. Other bits of alcohol can be metabolized in your brain or pancreas. This isn’t great because it can do damage.
It is suspected that acetaldehyde is behind some effects of alcohol. By that, we mean psychological effects.
Metabolism And The Genetics Behind It
Research says a person’s genetic makeup is the most important decider behind how effectively alcohol is broken down and gotten rid of. The body mass of a person and their liver size is also essential.
That can affect how fast a person can metabolize alcohol in an hour. So this can change with every person depending on their body type. That’s why there is no set rule.