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Home > Vitafriendspku > Your pku journey > Alcohol and PKU (Teens)

Alcohol and PKU (Teens)


Having PKU does not mean that alcohol is off limits, it’s just important to be aware of the amount and type of alcohol you choose to drink and most importantly that you drink responsibly.

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Important facts
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  • The legal drinking age in Australia and New Zealand is 18 years 
  • Any protein found in alcoholic drinks needs to be counted  
  • Some diet mixers (i.e., colas, tonic waters) will contain aspartame (E951) or acesulphame -aspartame (E962), which contain Phe - so checking labels and enquiring is very important 
  • To reduce health risks associated with drinking alcohol, Australian guidelines state no more than 10 standard drinks per week for healthy women and men aged ≥ 18 years  
  • To reduce the risk of injury and other harms to health, those under 18 years of age, should not drink alcohol, as per the Australian guidelines, and  
  • To prevent harm to their unborn child, women who are pregnant should not drink alcohol.  
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The Effects

The effect of drinking alcohol is the same for individuals with or without PKU. Alcohol, in any amount, can affect your body in some form.

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It can change the way your brain processes information and affects your ability to make decisions. In terms of PKU this could be in relation to food choices; for example, you may choose to visit your local takeaway after a few drinks which could result in eating something that is high in protein and gives you raised phe levels.  


If you are of legal age, and wish to drink alcohol responsibly – this website can provide further information on the Guidelines for the Safe Drinking of Alcohol in Australia.


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Learn more about PKU

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