Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Pathol Biol (Paris). 2001 Nov;49(9):676-82.

Research advances in ethanol metabolism.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, 975, W. Walnut Street, IB 424, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5121, USA.


The pharmacokinetics of alcohol determines the time course of alcohol concentration in blood after the ingestion of an alcoholic beverage and the degree of exposure of organs to its effects. The interplay between the kinetics of absorption, distribution and elimination is thus important in determining the pharmacodynamic responses to alcohol. There is a large degree of variability in alcohol absorption, distribution and metabolism, as a result of both genetic and environmental factors. The between-individual variation in alcohol metabolic rates is, in part due to allelic variants of the genes encoding the alcohol metabolizing enzymes, alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). This review summarizes recent developments in the investigation of the following influences on alcohol elimination rate: gender, body composition and lean body mass, liver volume, food and food composition, ethnicity, and genetic polymorphisms in alcohol metabolizing enzymes as well as in the promoter regions of the genes for these enzymes. Evaluation of the factors regulating the rates of alcohol and acetaldehyde metabolism, both genetic and environmental, will help not only to explain the risk for development of alcoholism, but also the risk for development of alcohol-related organ damage and developmental problems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons


    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center