Liver cells contain enzymes (chemicals) which process (metabolise) alcohol. The enzymes break down alcohol into other chemicals which in turn are then broken down into water and carbon dioxide. These are then passed out in the urine and from the lungs. The liver cells can process only a certain amount of alcohol per hour. So, if you drink alcohol faster than your liver can deal with it, the level of alcohol in your bloodstream rises.
- Men should drink no more than 21 units of alcohol per week (and no more than four units in any one day).
- Women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week (and no more than three units in any one day).
- Pregnant women. The exact amount that is safe is not known. Therefore, advice from experts is that pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant should not drink at all. If you do chose to drink when you are pregnant then limit it to one or two units, once or twice a week. And never binge drink or get drunk.