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Alcohol consumption habits may threaten GI health

LOS ANGELES (May 22, 2006) Many studies have evaluated the risks and benefits of alcohol intake, with some concentrating on potential benefits while others focus on the risks of abuse. According to new research presented at Digestive Disease Week 2006 (DDW), the volume of alcohol ingested and how it is mixed with other beverages can affect the health of the gastrointestinal (GI) system. DDW is the largest international gathering of physicians, researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

"Many factors come into play when managing a healthy lifestyle. In this case, patterns of alcohol consumption may significantly affect digestive health," said Lee Kaplan, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School and director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Weight Center. "Researchers explore a variety of drinking methods to differentiate which patterns are most harmful and which may have some beneficial protective effects."

Artificially Sweetened, Compared to Regular Mixers, Accelerate Gastric Emptying and the Rate of Alcohol Absorption [Abstract M2198]

When alcohol is mixed with beverages such as orange juice or soda, the rate of alcohol absorption into the blood stream depends not only on the individual, but also the "mixer." Researchers at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia analyzed alcoholic beverages mixed with diet or regular soda (with sucrose) to determine the rate of gastric emptying and blood alcohol response. They found that alcohol combined with sugar-free mixers were processed through the stomach and entered the blood stream much more quickly than alcohol with regular mixers.

Researchers analyzed eight male volunteers who consumed orange-flavored vodka beverages with both a diet mixer and regular mixer. Participants were monitored to track the rate at which the mixer was emptied from the stomach and their subsequent bl
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Contact: Aimee Frank
newsroom@gastro.org
301-941-2620
American Gastroenterological Association
22-May-2006


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