Metabolism of alcohol vs other things

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Offline techmind

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Metabolism of alcohol vs other things
« on: 19/05/2012 21:00:40 »
I've recently heard/read that our bodies metabolise alcohol at a constant rate (perhaps 10ml/hour) irrespective of the concentration in the blood, while other trace compounds are removed with an exponential decay (i.e. at a rate proportional to the blood-concentration).

Is this true?

If so, what is the difference in mechanism responsible for it?

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Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Metabolism of alcohol vs other things
« Reply #1 on: 19/05/2012 21:34:21 »
It's a good approximation for doses of alcohol that are likely to have a noticeable effect.
The simple version of the answer is that the enzyme is "working as fast as it can".

At lower concentrations the rate of loss of alcohol is (like most drugs) roughly proportional to the concentration in the blood.
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