Oxygen plays an important role in the metabolism of alcohol. An increased dissolved oxygen level in alcoholic beverages reportedly accelerates the elimination of alcohol. Therefore, researchers in Korea evaluated the effect of dissolved oxygen in alcohol and the supportive effect of oxygenated water on alcohol pharmacokinetics after the excessive consumption of alcohol (540 ml of 19.5% alcohol).
Fifteen healthy males were included in this randomised, crossover study. Three combinations were tested: X, normal alcoholic beverage and normal water; Y, oxygenated alcoholic beverage and normal water; Z, oxygenated alcoholic beverage and oxygenated water. Blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) were determined by conversion of breath alcohol concentrations. Four pharmacokinetic parameters (Cmax, Tmax, Kel, and AUCall) were obtained using non-compartmental analysis and the times to reach 0.05% and 0.03% BAC (T0.05% and T0.03%) were compared using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Duncan’s post hoc test.
With combination Z, the BAC decreased to 0.05% significantly faster (p < 0.05) than with combination X. Analyzing the pharmacokinetic parameters, the mean Kel was significantly higher for combination Z than for combinations X and Y (p < 0.05), whereas the mean values of Cmax, Tmax and AUCall did not differ significantly among the combinations.
The authors conclude that dissolved oxygen in drinks accelerates the decrease in BAC after consuming a large amount of alcohol. However, the oxygen dissolved in the alcoholic beverage alone did not have a sufficient effect in this case. The authors postulate that highly oxygenated water augments the effect of oxygen in the alcoholic beverage in alcohol elimination. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate the supportive effect of ingesting additional oxygenated water after heavy drinking of normal alcoholic beverages.
Source: Effect of dissolved oxygen in alcoholic beverages and drinking water on alcohol elimination in humans. Su-jin Rhee, Jung-woo Chae, Byung-jeong Song, Eun-sil Lee, Kwang-il Kwon. Alcohol, published online 18 October 2012.