Oxidant Stress Key To Liver Damage From Alcohol

Investigators have identified a key process by which alcohol likely damages the liver in people who drink heavily. Investigators also showed that high doses of vitamin C could partially reverse this process, which may open up new therapeutic opportunities to treat alcohol-induced liver disease. Tests carried out in a third group of patients who had been admitted to hospital with acute alcohol poisoning also revealed "astronomical" levels of oxidant stress, he added.

When investigators then introduced high-dose antioxidant therapy in the form of 2,500 mg a day of vitamin C for 10 days, biochemical markers of oxidant stress in patients with alcohol-induced liver disease decreased by approximately 50%. Oxidant stress is important in other diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Journal of Clinical Investigation  September 15, 1999;104:805-813.

COMMENT: It would seem that vitamin C for anyone drinking significant amounts of alcohol would be a wise supplement. Even wiser though would be to avoid the alcohol.

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