You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Women drinkers at higher risk of liver disease

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Women are more vulnerable to the damaging effects of alcohol than men because they are generally smaller in stature and have less body water, a US scientist has claimed.

According to Dr Howard Monsour, chief of hepatology at Houston Methodist Hospital, women who are already predisposed by genetics to have liver disease should limit their alcohol consumption or stay away from alcohol altogether.

"There is a misconception that you have to be an alcoholic to develop serious liver disease. Not true. In fact, if you have a genetic disposition, drinking more than a moderate amount could be very damaging, especially for women," Monsour said.

About 20 to 30 per cent of the population has a genetic disposition to cirrhosis of the liver and Monsour said it is important for people to know if they have a family history of cirrhosis before making the decisions to drink large amounts of alcohol.

"One drink a day might be too much for a woman who has a genetic pre-disposition to cirrhosis of the liver," Monsour said.

"One drink for a woman has about twice the effect as it does for the same amount consumed by a man," he said.

The liver stores energy and nutrients and produces proteins and enzymes necessary for optimum health. It protects the body from disease and eliminates toxins like alcohol.

"When women drink the same amount less is dispersed and the concentration is higher. They also have a lower activity of a metabolising enzyme in the stomach called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH)," Monsour said.

ADH helps convert alcohol to acetaldehyde, which eventually is metabolised to carbon dioxide and water.

This causes a larger amount of the alcohol to reach the blood and eventually in susceptible persons can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, a disease that normally has no visible signs until liver damage is too extensive.

Monsour added that people who think drinking a beer is better than hard liquor are misguided. One beer is equal to one shot of whiskey or one, four-ounce glass of wine. The alcohol content is the same in all three drinks.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Thu, December 26 2013. 15:56 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU