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Does alcohol affect women differently?

Men and women are not created equal when it comes to handling alcohol. Physiologically, there is a difference between how men and women handle alcohol that can cause women to feel the effects of alcohol sooner: Women have less of the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase in their stomachs than men. Because this enzyme helps break down alcohol, more alcohol will be absorbed and enter a woman’s blood through her stomach than a man’s.

Also, women have less body water than men. Because alcohol mixes in water, women are less able to dilute the alcohol being distributed throughout their bodies. Thus, a woman’s brain will be exposed to a more concentrated and intoxicating amount of alcohol than a man’s.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.