The rate at which alcohol is eliminated from the blood by oxidization varies from 6 to 10g/h. This is reflected by the BEC, which falls by 9-20mg/dl/h after consumption of ethanol. After a dose of
0.6.0.9 g/kg body weight without food, elimination of ethanol is approximately 15 mg/dl blood/h. However, many factors influence this rate and there is considerable individual variation.
Absorbed ethanol is initially oxidized to acetalde-hyde (Figure 2) by one of three pathways (Figure 3):
1. Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH)—cystosol
2. Microsomal ethanol oxidizing system (MEOS)— endoplasmic reticulum
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