Alcohol and Nutrition

  • Author:
    Betty Kovacs, MS, RD

    Betty is a Registered Dietitian who earned her B.S. degree in Food and Nutrition from Marymount College of Fordham University and her M.S. degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. She is the Co-Director and Director of nutrition for the New York Obesity Research Center Weight Loss Program.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Quick GuideAlcohol Abuse: 12 Health Risks of Chronic Heavy Drinking

Alcohol Abuse: 12 Health Risks of Chronic Heavy Drinking

Do beverages with artificial sweeteners react with alcohol?

The low-carb-dieting craze has led to an increased consumption of diet beverages being used in mixed alcoholic drinks. Premixed alcoholic drinks were usually made with sugar-sweetened beverages like juice and soda. The presence of sugar was thought to decrease the rapidity with which alcohol would empty from the stomach and get absorbed in the small intestines, but nothing was known about how artificial sweeteners would impact the absorption of alcohol.

A recent study examined the difference in blood alcohol levels from drinks containing sweetened (regular) versus artificially sweetened (diet) beverages. This study found a significant difference in blood alcohol levels between the two drinks. In fact, the "diet" beverage produced blood alcohol levels that would be considered illegal for driving in many jurisdictions, while comparable quantities of the "regular" beverage did not. This poses a potentially dangerous situation, and it is clear that there should be separate guidelines for the safe consumption of artificially sweetened alcoholic beverages. Continue Reading

Reviewed on 2/17/2016
References
Cassady, B.A. "Beverage Consumption, Appetite, and Energy Intake: What Did You Expect?" Am J Clin Nutr. 95.3 Mar. 2012: 587-593.

Caton, S.J. "Acute Effects of an Alcoholic Drink on Food Intake: Aperitif Versus Co-ingestion." Physiol Behav. 90(2-3) Feb. 28, 2007: 368-375.

DiMeglio, D.P. "Liquid Versus Solid Carbohydrate: Effects on Food Intake and Body Weight." Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 24.6 June 2000: 794-800.

Goralczyk, R. "Beta-Carotene and Lung Cancer in Smokers: Review of Hypotheses and Status of Research." Nutr Cancer. 61.6 (2009): 767-774.

Halsted, C.H. "Metabolic Interactions of Alcohol and Folate." J Nutr. 132(8 Suppl) Aug. 2002: 2367S-2372S.

Latt, N. "Thiamine in the Treatment of Wernicke Encephalopathy in Patients With Alcohol Use Disorders." Intern Med J. 44.9 Sept. 2014: 911-915.

Laufer, E.M. "Effects of Moderate Alcohol Consumption on Folate and Vitamin B(12) Status in Postmenopausal Women." Eur J Clin Nutr. 58.11 Nov. 2004: 1518-1524.

Poppitt, S.D. "Beverage Consumption: Are Alcoholic and Sugary Drinks Tipping the Balance Towards Overweight and Obesity?" Nutrients. 7.8 Aug. 11, 2015: 6700-6718.

Singleton, C.K. "Molecular Mechanisms of Thiamine Utilization." Curr Mol Med. 1.2 May 2001: 197-207.

Stermer, E. "Alcohol Consumption and the Gastrointestinal Tract." Isr Med Assoc J. 4.3 Mar. 2002: 200-202.

Stickel, F. "Review Article: Nutritional Therapy in Alcoholic Liver Disease." Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 18.4 Aug. 15, 2003: 357-373.

Subramanya, S.B. "Chronic Alcohol Consumption and Intestinal Thiamin Absorption: Effects on Physiological and Molecular Parameters of the Uptake Process." Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 299.1 July 2010: G23-31

Switzerland. World Health Organization. "Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol." <http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/activities/gsrhua/en/>.

Thomson, A.D. "Mechanisms of Vitamin Deficiency in Chronic Alcohol Misusers and the Development of the Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome." Alcohol Suppl. 35.1 May-June 2000: 2-7.

Traversy, G. "Alcohol Consumption and Obesity: An Update." Curr Obes Rep. 4.1 (2015): 122-130.

United States. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. "The Role of Thiamine Deficiency in Alcoholic Brain Disease." July 2004. <http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-2/134-142.htm>.

United States. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. "Folate." Feb. 11, 2016. <https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/>.

United States. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. "Vitamin A." Feb. 11, 2016. <https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/>.

United States. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. "Vitamin B12." Feb. 11, 2016. <https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Folate-HealthProfessional/>.

Wakabayashi, L. "Frequency of Heavy Alcohol Drinking and Risk of Metabolic Syndrome in Middle-Aged Men." Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 38.6 June 2014: 1689-1696.

Yeomans, M.R. "Alcohol and Food Intake." Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 6.6 Nov. 2003: 639-644.

Yeomans, M.R. "Alcohol, Appetite and Energy Balance: Is Alcohol Intake a Risk Factor for Obesity?" Physiol Behav. 100.1 Apr. 26, 2010: 82-89.

Yeomans, M.R. "Effects of Alcohol on Food and Energy Intake in Human Subjects: Evidence for Passive and Active Over-consumption of Energy." Br J Nutr. 92 Suppl 1 Aug. 2004: S31-4.

IMAGES:

1.iStock

2.MedicineNet

3.iStock

4.iStock

5.iStock

6.iStock

7.iStock

8.iStock

9.MedicineNet

10.Getty Images

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Weight Loss/Healthy Living Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors