When it comes to binge dringing this holiday season, men and women are not created equal. While some women may be able to hold their liquor as well men, over-imbibing takes a heavier toll on their health, according to a report published on health website MyHealthNewsDaily on November 18.

Men and women metabolize alcohol differently. Women have more body fat and less water in their systems than men do, as well as lower levels of an enzyme important in the breakdown of alcohol, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) in the US. This means they experience the effects of drinking more quickly and for a longer time than men.

Also, because women tend to be smaller than men, the same amount of alcohol will be more concentrated in a woman's body than a man's, said Dr. Deidra Roach of the NIAAA in an interview with MyHealthNewsDaily. For women, excessive drinking can lead to a host of health problems, from liver and brain damage to heart disease and breast cancer, according to research.

Even less serious conditions, such as sinus or bladder infections, can be brought on by alcohol abuse - and some cases have linked irritable bowel syndrome with too much drinking. A study to be published in the December print edition of the journal Archives of Dermatology has also found that women who drink two or more beers weekly had a 72 percent greater chance of psoriasis than non-drinkers.

What is a safe level of drinking? The NIAAA cites that for most adults, drinking up to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women causes few if any problems. (One drink equals one 12-ounce bottle of beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.)

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More info on binge or problem drinking:

Watch a popular TV ad aimed at young women from UK's National Health Services: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jftfU30xJg