There are 3 general reasons that females show higher BACs (and greater intoxication) than do males if they drink the same amount of alcohol.
- Body composition: In females a greater percentage of body mass is fat compared to males
Result – The concentration of alcohol is increased in the female bloodstream compared to the male body
- Stomach ADH: Females have very little of this enzyme compared to males
Result – Females do not metabolize alcohol before it gets out of the stomach. Therefore the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is higher for females versus males
- Liver ADH: Females have a less active form of this enzyme than do males.
Result – Females do not metabolize alcohol as efficiently as do males, thereby increasing the BAC