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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 157977 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Alcohol and Nutrition
Corporate Author: US Dept of Health and Human Services
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
United States of America
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
US Dept of Health and Human Services
Rockville, MD 20892-9304
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

US Dept of Health and Human Services
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
5635 Fishers Lane, MSC 9304
Rockville, MD 20892-9304
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Literature Review
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper discusses how excessive alcohol consumption often leads to poor diet and interference with the nutritional process by affecting digestion, storage, use, and excretion of nutrients.
Abstract: Alcohol inhibits the breakdown of nutrients into usable molecules by decreasing secretion of digestive enzymes from the pancreas. Alcohol impairs nutrient absorption by damaging the cells that line the stomach and intestines while disabling transport of some nutrients into the blood. Even if nutrients are digested and absorbed, alcohol can prevent them from being fully used by altering their transport, storage, and excretion. Decreased liver stores of vitamins such as vitamin A and increased excretion of nutrients such as fat indicate impaired use of nutrients by alcoholics. Some alcoholics ingest as much as 50 percent of their total daily calories from alcohol, often neglecting important foods. Although alcoholic liver damage is caused primarily by alcohol itself, poor nutrition may increase the risk of alcohol-related liver damage. Further, research suggests that malnutrition may increase the risk of developing alcoholic pancreatitis. Nutritional deficiencies can have severe and permanent effects on brain function. Alcohol has direct toxic effects on fetal development, causing alcohol-related birth defects, including fetal alcohol syndrome. Alcohol itself is toxic to the fetus, but accompanying nutritional deficiency can affect fetal development, perhaps compounding the risk of developmental damage. Research shows that the majority of even the heaviest drinkers have few detectable nutritional deficiencies, but that many alcoholics who are hospitalized for medical complications of alcoholism do experience severe malnutrition. 26 references
Main Term(s): Drug effects
Index Term(s): Alcohol abuse education; Alcoholism
Note: From Alcohol Alert No. 22, October 1993.
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