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Booze Blockers

Several years ago the Food and Drug Administration sent warning letters to manufacturers who claimed that their products containing charcoal, caffeine or fructose prevent drunkenness, yet many of these products are still promoted on the internet.

Claims that charcoal prevents the congeners in alcoholic drinks from getting into your bloodstream are ridiculous. Alcohol causes drunkenness, not congeners that are added to give taste, smell, and color. Caffeine peps you up, but does not help a drunk to reason better or recover faster. Pills containing the fruit sugar, fructose, have not been shown to help the liver remove alcohol from the bloodstream faster. However, eating any food decreases your chances of getting drunk. Your liver breaks down alcohol at a rate per hour of 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine and 2/3rds of a shot glass. Taking more than two drinks an hour increases your chances of getting drunk.

When the alcohol concentration in your bloodstream reaches five parts per thousand, you are drunk. The concentration of alcohol in your bloodstream is determined by how rapidly the alcohol gets into your bloodstream and how rapidly your liver breaks it down. Eating before drinking may prevent drunkenness by keeping alcohol in the stomach longer. Most of the alcohol is absorbed from the intestines. Eating after drinking also helps your liver remove alcohol faster.

Checked 11/22/17

June 1st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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