When it comes to binge drinking during holiday season, men and women are not created equal. While some women may be able to hold their liquor as well as men, the fact is that over-indulgence takes a heavier toll on the health of women, according to a report published on health website, MyHealthNewsDaily, late last week.
It was found that men and women metabolise alcohol differently. Women have more body fat and less water in their systems than men do, as well as lower levels of an enzyme important in the breakdown of alcohol, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), US. This means they experience the effects of drinking more quickly and for a longer time than men.
"Also, because women tend to be smaller than men, the same amount of alcohol will be more concentrated in a woman's body than a man's", said Dr Deidra Roach of the NIAAA.
Scarily enough for women, excessive drinking can lead to a host of health problems, from liver and brain damage to heart disease and breast cancer, according to research.
Apart from this, the seemingly harmless session of binge drinking can also result in some other less serious conditions, such as sinus or bladder infections. Some women also complain of mood swings that can be brought on by alcohol abuse — and some cases have linked irritable bowel syndrome with too much drinking. A study to be published in this month’s print edition of the journal, Archives of Dermatology, has also found that women who drink two or more beers weekly had a 72% greater chance of psoriasis than non-drinkers.
So, what is a safe level of drinking? The NIAAA cites that for most adults, drinking up to two drinks per day for men, and one drink per day for women causes few, if any, problems. (One drink equals one 12-ounce bottle of beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits).