Historically, alcohol problems have been seen as a male issue. But a report from the British Medical Journal found that more and more women, born between 1991 and 2000, drink just as much as their male counterparts. While equality is important, health experts are concerned for women when it comes to increased alcohol consumption.. That’s because alcohol affects women more than men.
Women don’t have enough of the alcohol enzyme
Both men and women’s bodies produce the enzyme, alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH). It gets release in the liver and it helps to break down alcohol. However, a woman’s body produces less of this enzyme than a man does. This makes it easier for alcohol toxins to spread throughout the body, instead of getting flushed out.
Women have higher body fat levels
Fat holds onto alcohol. And since women have higher levels of fat in their bodies, their physiological reaction to alcohol is greater than for men. This in turn, increases the risk for alcohol-related medical conditions, such as liver disease, and cardiovascular and neurological damage.
Women can develop alcohol addiction more quickly
For women who are heavy drinkers, there’s a greater likelihood to develop an addiction. And despite the fact that these women usually begin drinking alcohol later in their lives than men, it doesn’t take as much time for them to have an alcohol addiction.
Up until now, most studies on alcohol have involved men. However, with the rise in female alcohol consumption, along with these gender specific reactions, there may be an increased need for support for women.