About this book
Alcohol and other drugs of abuse are major contributing factors to liver disease and its pathology. Alcoholic cirrhosis causes thousands of deaths each year in the United States, and encourages liver replacement. A better understanding of the mechanisms of liver pathology will significantly aid basic researchers and physicians in treating and preventing liver damage. This book is designed especially for those researchers wishing to understand alcoholic liver disease. Therefore the role of alcohol in changing nutrition and its nutritional effects on liver disease are reviewed. The generation of free radicals during alcohol use has been found to be an important cause of membrane changes, of cancer development, and of lipid alterations-and thus of liver pathology. In addition to alcohol, other drugs of abuse, including morphine, cocaine, marijuana, and caffeine have also been shown to be significant contributors to liver pathology. The prevalence of drug and alcohol use and abuse today means that liver disease will continue as a major social and medical problem. The explanation of its biological origins cannot fail to help us better understand and treat the disease in the years to come.
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