Updated: Jan 17, 2021
Have you ever noticed that as you got older, you were less able to tolerate alcohol? Well, the truth of it is, that is a real phenomenon. There are a multitude of reasons why our alcohol tolerance diminishes as we get older, but one of the reasons that women in particular have a difficult time with it, is that women actually have smaller quantities of the enzyme that is necessary to break alcohol down in the first place. Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) is an enzyme that is produced in the liver which metabolizes alcohol, allowing it to ultimately be purged from our bodies. Upon further investigation, it has been found that a glutathione-dependent formaldehyde dehydrogenase, is more deficient in women. This lower level of enzyme production, makes women more susceptible to alcohol toxicity.
Alcohol can also alter a woman’s estrogen metabolism, causing her to have a surge of estrogen in her body as her liver attempts to purge away the toxicity. Some women experience this as a ‘heat flash’ in the middle of the night after one or two drinks. This comes into perspective more so, when we start thinking about just how much alcohol we actually consume over the course of a week, or a month, or a year. A chronically mild or moderately elevated level of estrogen circulating through the body, over a long period of time, exposes women to an unnecessarily higher level estrogen than she otherwise would be – putting some at a higher than necessary risk for breast cancer, or other reproductive cancer.
Another consideration regarding alcohol consumption is the burden it places on the liver. The world we are living in today is exceedingly toxic – and the liver is our filter. It processes out everything we consume, breath, or absorb through our skin. Some examples are cosmetics, medications, food dyes, additives and preservatives, plastic from food and drink storage, foods that are heavy in fat or sugar, pesticides, air fresheners, candle scents etc. The liver works overtime to ensure that all of these things are processed out. Add on top of that the work it takes to process away a load of alcohol, and the liver becomes so overworked, that it simply cannot function optimally anymore. Think of it this way: we all live in a home that contains an air filter. The quality of that air filter determines just how clean the air that we breath inside the house actually becomes. Our liver is analogous to that filter. To help it function optimally, play your part in easing its burden by making choices that support the liver, rather than punish it. When alcohol is in play, take a liver supplement before drinking to help process it out. If you forget, take it when you get home, to help minimize next-day hangover symptoms. And the next time you have an option for that second drink, choose instead to honor your body, the vessel that houses our spirit and our soul. Your body will thank you, as you continue your Soul Minded journey...
Click the links below for some of my favorite liver support supplements: