Use of measurements of ethanol absorption from stomach and intestine to assess human ethanol metabolism

Michael D. Levitt, Ricardo Li, Eugene G. Demaster, Michael Elson, Julie Furne, David G. Levitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations

Abstract

Controversy exists concerning the site (stomach vs. liver) and magnitude of first-pass metabolism of ethanol. We quantitated gastric and total ethanol absorption rates in five male subjects and utilized these measurements to evaluate first-pass metabolism. Gastric emptying of ethanol (0.15 g/kg) was determined via a gamma camera and gastric absorption from the ratio of gastric ethanol to [ 14C]polyethylene glycol. Gastric absorption accounted for 30% and 10% of ethanol administered with food and water, respectively. With food, estimated gastric mucosal ethanol concentrations fell from 19 to 5 mM over 2 h. Calculations using these concentrations and kinetic data for gastric alcohol dehydrogenase showed <2% of the dose underwent gastric metabolism. Application of observed ethanol absorption rates to a model of human hepatic ethanol metabolism indicated that only 30% and 4% of the dose underwent first-pass metabolism when administered with food and water, respectively. We conclude that virtually all first-pass ethanol metabolism occurs in the liver and first-pass metabolism accounts for only a small fraction of total clearance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G951-G957
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Volume273
Issue number4 36-4
StatePublished - Nov 15 1997

Keywords

  • Alcohol dehydrogenase
  • Gastric absorption
  • Gastric emptying

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