Effects of solid food on blood levels of alcohol in man

Res Commun Chem Pathol Pharmacol. 1976 Apr;13(4):713-22.


Forty-five ml of 95% alcohol, diluted to 150 ml with orange juice, was taken orally by six adult male volunteers under the following conditions: A (fasting), B (following a light breakfast), C (following a heavy breakfast), D (following a steak meal), E (alcohol 1 hr after a heavy breakfast), and F (alcohol 1 hr before a heavy breakfast). Using treatment A as a reference, the average area under the blood alcohol, time curve was reduced by 36, 63, 55, 56, and 18% for treatment B through F, respectively. The reduction in area is attributed to two factors: (a) food reduced the efficiency of absorption of alcohol; and (b) food reduced the rate of absorption of alcohol, which, coupled with the operation of Michaelis-Menten elimination kinetics, contributed to the reduction in area. The latter effect is a result of changes in the ratio: instantaneous rate of metabolism/amount of alcohol in the body, which results in a smaller area when the rate of absorption is slow than when the rate of absorption is rapid. Using treatment A as a reference, the ratio of the average peak alcohol concentrations were: 1.0, 0.72, 0.35, 0.50, 0.49 and 1.11 for treatments A through F, respectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ethanol / blood*
  • Food*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Male


  • Ethanol