The process of the removal of alcohol from the bloodstream is mainly performed by the organ called the liver. The liver is a large, meaty organ that rests on the right side of the belly. The liver detoxifies chemicals and metabolizes drugs.
Apart from this, the liver secretes bile juice that ends up back in the intestines. The liver also makes proteins important for blood clotting and other functions.
Although there are few more organs that aid in the removal of alcohol from the bloodstream, their contribution is comparatively very low. An average person who is healthy can eliminate approximately 15 milliliters of blood that is 0.5 oz in an hour’s time; which therefore means that it would take approximately one hour (60 minutes) to eliminate the alcohol from one 12 oz (355 ml) can of beer.
Apart from all this, the liver is also responsible for controlling cholesterol metabolism and simultaneously it is the largest internal organ of a human being’s body.
How does the process of alcohol elimination take place?
Once alcohol is absorbed by the bloodstream, it leaves the body in three particular ways: The kidney is responsible for eliminating 5 percent (5%) of alcohol in the urine. The lungs exhale 5 percent (5%) of alcohol, which can be easily detected by breathalyzer devices. The liver however chemically breaks down the remaining alcohol into acetic acid.
The alcohol that is absorbed from the stomach and small intestine enter the portal vein which is directly led to the liver, which is said to be the major detoxifying organ of the body. A healthy liver is capable to metabolize pure alcohol at the rate of about 6/10ths of an ounce per hour, which is quite remarkable.
Alcohol abuse is one of the major causes of cirrhosis, which makes it very indispensable to flush it out from the body as soon as possible before it starts to create its ill-effects. The liver has the strength and capability which makes it able to break down alcohol by way of an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase.
However, as it is well known that overconsumption of alcohol can damage the liver, thus causing fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, or cirrhosis of the liver; it must be brought under control.
The first organ that alcohol affects in your body is the liver, and it is very ironic that it is life itself that helps eliminate the same from the body on an individual. The liver is the organ that oxidizes 90 percent of alcohol thus being called the main organ which helps flush the alcohol out. This organ is also said to be responsible for processing all the toxins in the body.
How long does alcohol stay in your body?
Alcohol has a short life span in your body. Once the alcohol enters your bloodstream, your body will begin to metabolize it at a rate of 20 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) per hour.
This means that if your blood alcohol level were 40 mg/dL, it would probably take about two hours to metabolize the alcohol. It’s also vital to know how much alcohol is present in your drink because that will determine how long it takes to metabolize your drink.
Even though alcohol is metabolized at a constant rate, but some people may feel the effects of alcohol for longer amounts of time. That tends to happen because blood alcohol concentrations can vary among people and situations in different sets of time.
Therefore, the alcohol that has been introduced in the body and bloodstream is flushed back out through the functioning of the organ called liver, with kidney and lungs aiding in the same process too.