Thursday, June 21, 2007

Gastric ByPass Increases Alcohol's Effect

Those who undergo gastric bypass surgery may find they get drunk faster and sober up slower.

According to Dr. Robert O. Young, the reason is that bypass surgery bypasses the stomach, which is the major place where sodium bicarbonate is manufactured and released to buffer and neutralize the alcohol found.

If you're bypassing the stomach, you're bypassing most of the ability to buffer the alcohol with the sodium bicarbonate released from the stomach lining.

After discussing bariatric surgery on "Oprah" and being overwhelmed with questions about how the weight-loss surgery affected the ability to drink alcohol, Dr. John Morton, director of bariatric surgery at Stanford Hospitals and Clinics decided to do his own research.

He studied 19 people who had undergone gastric bypass surgery at least one year before, and 17 control subjects. Each volunteer was asked to drink five ounces of red wine. They then had their alcohol levels tested by alcohol breath analysis every five minutes until their levels reached zero.

The alcohol levels of gastric bypass patients peaked at 0.08 percent compared to 0.05 percent for the controls. Some states consider drivers to be intoxicated at 0.08. It took gastric bypass patients an average of 108 minutes to get to zero while the controls took only 72 minutes.

"The alcohol peaked higher and stayed around longer," Morton said. In addition, the bypass patients reported the same level of symptoms as the controls, even though their alcohol levels were higher."

This led us to think that some patients may have high breath alcohol levels and not be aware of it," Morton said. "

One drink may be too much, especially if you are going to have a drink and drive.

"This is something patients have to be aware of," he said.

"The bottom line is alcohol use after gastric bypass should be used with caution, and certainly patients shouldn't have even a single drink and drive."

Dr. Young suggests taking 1 scoop of pHour saltsin 3 to 4 ounces of water to buffer any acid,including alcohol. "You should do this beforeand after drinking alcohol or eating any acidicfood" said Dr. Young.

For more information on pHour salts go to:

You can also take a pinch of smectite montmorillonite clay and put it in any alcoholic drink to bufferor neutralize the alcohol. If you do not want to effect the taste of the acidic beverage then take 1 scoop of clay in 3 to 4 ounces of purified water, stir and drink.

Dr. Young suggests doing this before and after any acidic meal or drink.

For more information on semectite montmorillonite clay:

Read more scientific articles at:

Copyright © 2007 by Robert O. Young, Ph.D. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form, or by any means, without written permission from the author.

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