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Sex differences that studies have turned up, such as increased damage to women’s livers and hearts, have been largely attributed to the different ways in which men and women metabolize alcohol. Because women tend to be smaller and have more body fat than men-and because women may have less of a stomach enzyme that digests alcohol– women’s blood alcohol levels (BALs) tend to be higher after imbibing the same amount as a man. Higher exposure simply translates into more severe effects, the Wuethrich, B. (2001) as cited in (Graham, Wilsnack, Dawson & Vogeltanz, 1998). Although evidence indicates that women like men have lower risks of coronary heart disease and higher levels of HDL cholesterol if they are moderate drinkers (Linn et al., 1993j Clevidence et al., 1995; Fuchs et al., 1995) as cited in (Graham, et al, 1998). Women’s benefits may be reduced by their greater sensitivity to toxic effects of alcohol on cardiac and striated muscle tissue (Urbano-Marquez et al., 1995) as cited in (Graham, et al, 1998). A constant amount of alcohol is metabolized per hour, usually, about 10 cubic centimeters (cc) of absolute alcohol regardless of the absolute amount of alcohol present in blood, and the blood level falls in a straight line. This type of metabolism is called zero-order elimination (or kinetics) (Advokat, Comaty & Julien, 2015).
There are four processes and are sometimes abbreviated as ADME. In concert, they determine the bioavailability of a drug, that is, how much of the drug that is administered actually reaches its target (Advokat et al, 2015). The term drug absorption refers to processes and mechanisms by which drugs pass from the external world into the bloodstream. For any drug, a route of administration, a dose of the drug, and a dosage form (liquid, tablet, capsule, injection, patch, spray, or gum) must be selected that will both place the drug at its site of action in a pharmacologically effective concentration and maintain the concentration for an adequate period of time (Advokat et al, 2015). Other routes for excreting drugs include the air we exhale, bile, sweat, saliva, and breast milk. Many drugs and drug metabolites may be found in these secretions, but their concentrations are usually low, and these routes are not usually considered primary paths of drug elimination (Advokat et al, 2015).
There has been observations that women alcoholics suffer more severe motor problems and cognitive impairment than men do and that alcoholism has been traditionally thought of as a “male disease” because of its higher prevalence among men (Wuethrich, 2001). There are about three times as many male as female alcoholics, additionally, researchers have often turned to the mostly male Veterans Administration hospitals for their research subjects; only recently have studies been published that compare men and women (Wuethrich, 2001). Over the past few years researchers have found clues suggesting that more is at work than higher BALs and from these studies are emerging new– although sometimes contradictory– evidence that when it comes to alcohol, one’s sex does matter (Wuethrich, 2001). The findings reinforce the idea that, in addition to higher BALs, biological differences between male and female brains contribute to increased damage in women (Wuethrich, 2001). It’s still controversial, “ but more researchers are starting to recognize the likelihood that the female brain is indeed more sensitive to the deleterious effects of alcohol,” says neuroscientist Mark Prendergast of the University of Kentucky, Lexington, who is examining the issue (Wuethrich, 2001).