MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: Why doesn't alcohol affect me?

Date: Wed Aug 4 10:42:59 1999
Posted By: Elizabeth Kunkel, Faculty, Food Science and Human Nutrition, Clemson University
Area of science: Medicine
ID: 932693028.Me

Alcohol affects people differently, but it does affect everyone.  Alcohol 
serves as a depressant (not a stimulant as most people think) and makes 
some people more aggressive, others less inhibited, and others sleepy.  
That much alcohol in that short a time frame would affect anyone; but your 
individual reaction may not have met your idea of being "drunk."   
Individual reactions to alcohol also depend on the activity of the liver 
enzyme which detoxifies alcohol, alcohol dehydrogenase.  In some people, 
this enzyme is very active and in others it is practically non-existent.  
People who have very active alcohol dehydrogenase will remove alcohol from 
their bloodstreams in a shorter time frame than people who have limited 
amounts of that enzyme.  

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