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aThe unit system is a convenient way of quantifying consumption of ethanol and offers a suitable means to give practical guidance. However, there are several problems with the unit system. The ethanol content of various brands of alcoholic beverages varies considerably (for example, alcohol content of beers/ales is 0.5-9.0%—a pint may contain 2-5 units) and the amounts of alcohol consumed in homes bear little in common with standard measures.

aThe unit system is a convenient way of quantifying consumption of ethanol and offers a suitable means to give practical guidance. However, there are several problems with the unit system. The ethanol content of various brands of alcoholic beverages varies considerably (for example, alcohol content of beers/ales is 0.5-9.0%—a pint may contain 2-5 units) and the amounts of alcohol consumed in homes bear little in common with standard measures.

some experience adverse reactions due to genetic variation of enzymes that metabolize alcohol. Misuse of alcohol undoubtedly induces pathological changes in most organs of the body. Some questionable data have suggested that alcohol may be beneficial in the reduction of ischaemic heart disease.

Many of the effects of alcohol correlate with the peak concentration of ethanol in the blood during a drinking session. It is therefore important to understand the factors that influence the blood ethanol concentration (BEC) achieved from a dose of ethanol.

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