Page 7: Critical Information For Women Surrounding Alcohol
Men and women do not respond to alcohol in the same way. Current
research indicates that women are not as efficient "drinking machines"
as men. There are many factors that influence this difference.
For these reasons, women can expect more impairment from alcohol than
men consuming an equal dose of alcohol. Preliminary research suggests
that women develop problems with alcohol more quickly and severely than
men do. Therefore to reduce your risk, it is suggested that women limit
their consumption to no more than one drink per hour, no more than one
drink per day, and never more than four times per week.
- Body size is the first factor. Women are, on the average, built
smaller than men. Therefore, equal amounts of alcohol cause a higher
blood alcohol concentration in women due to the smaller blood volume.
- Body composition is the second factor. The average female carries
more body fat than a male. Body fat contains little water. When consumed,
alcohol dilutes in water. Therefore, a female has less body water to
dilute alcohol in, causing a higher blood alcohol concentration, even
if two equally sized men and women drink the same amount of alcohol.
- The third factor is a metabolizing enzyme that helps rid the body
of alcohol called alcohol dehydrogenase. Women have less of this enzyme
than men do. Therefore, more of the alcohol that women drink enters the
blood stream as pure alcohol, and stays there.
- Finally, a womans response to alcohol is increased due to hormonal
changes when a woman is about to have her period, or is taking the
birth control pill.
Remember, this is not an issue of equality, but one of health!.