Research On

The enzymes responsible for ethanol oxidation are mostly located in the liver, but recent research has focused on the existence of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH)—the enzyme that transforms alcohol to acetaldehyde—in the gastrointestinal mucosa. Gastric ADH seems to be less effective in oxidizing ethanol in women (than in men) and in alcoholics (than in moderate drinkers). When a moderate dose of ethanol was ingested on an empty stomach, first-pass metabolism was negligible. This was explained by the ethanol bypassing gastric ADH, owing to rapid absorption occurring. However, the quantitative significance of gut metabolism in the overall disposal of ethanol remains controversial.

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