hi, i'm brittany from seattle.

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here’s something that i learned in biology class today that i think will be beneficial for people to know - especially people of european and asian descent, and people who want to lose weight but drink alcohol.

//i’m not a scientist, although i’d recommend everyone consume less (or no) alcohol, you should never change your lifestyle based on something you read online//

when people drink ethanol alcohol, it goes through the intestines and is broken down in the liver. genetic variations in the enzymes that break down the alcohol determine your metabolic rate to process alcohol more quickly, in other words how well you can “handle your liquor”. 

it goes like this:
Ethanol is consumed > The enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) breaks it down > It becomes Acetaldehyde > The enzyme acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH)  breaks it down more > Acetate is all that remains (aka vinegar)

ADH is a fast acting enzyme that breaks down the alcohol into Acetaldehyde. This variant is what causes drinking to be unpleasant - makes you nauseous, have the spins and pounding headaches. It’s also notable that people with higher ADH presents are much more prone to alcohol.

ALDH is the enzyme that breaks the acetaldehyde down into acetate. People with European bloodlines tend to have more quickly-acting ALDH - meaning they can handle consuming more alcohol without suffering the bad side effects. This is due to the large consumption of European ancestors. Asians, on the other hand, are almost completely lacking this enzyme - instead, the nearly completely inactive ALDH2 is present in Asians and is suspected to be the reason for alcoholism to be so rare for Asians (hence the harsh side effects of acetaldehyde).

So far then, it looks like:

  • Europeans have higher average presence of enzyme ALDH, meaning that they can get more drunk without getting sick, however they have much higher risks of alcoholism and related diseases.
  • Asians’ presence of ALDH is almost completely absent, therefore drinking is much more unpleasant. Also, their risk of alcoholism and related diseases are much lower.

How does this play into weight loss?

Acetate (vinegar) intake greatly lowers fat oxidation rates - in other words, your body begins breaking down fat molecules to burn as energy at a much slower rate.

So calorie content is the least of your worries when it comes to weight loss and drinking, especially for European people who digest alcohol much more quickly and so need to drink more to have the same effect. All of that acetate is literally a fat metabolism killer.

If you’re having a hard time losing weight, you might want to spend a little less time looking for “metabolism boosters” and a little more thinking about what might be ruining it in the first place. Alcohol can be an enjoyable treat every once in a while, but regular consumption could be sabotaging your weight loss efforts!

Please reblog this and share the knowledge! <3



a moment of silence for the girls who will have their period on Christmas



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