Alcoholic Liver Disease

  • Helmut Karl Seitz
  • Sebastian Mueller


Alcohol and alcoholic beverages have been consumed for thousands of years. The oldest evidence is probably a grape squeezer found near Damascus dating back to the time around 6000 BC. According to the Old Testament, God told Noah to plant a grapevine following the Great Flood around 4000 BC (and he drank of the wine, and was drunken) (Genesis 9.21). In old China, the benefits and dangers of alcohol were mentioned around 2700 BC. Another old witness of alcohol abuse dates back to the times of Echnaton in Upper Egypt. The hieroglyph is approximately 3,500 years old and is shown in Fig. 88.1. Homer, Ovid, and Plutarch all mentioned drinking of wine and the danger of this behaviour. The term “alcohol” was most likely introduced by Paracelsus around 1530 AC, from the Arabic word al-kuhl, meaning “the finest part of something”. As in ancient times, alcoholic beverages were predominantly consumed by royalties and priests and were therefore only available to a small class of...


Alcoholic Liver Disease Alcoholic Cirrhosis Hereditary Hemochromatosis Ethanol Metabolism Pass Metabolism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This article is dedicated to my clinical teacher Professor Dr. Peter Czygan, Neuss, in gratitude for having guided me into Clinical Hepatology with broad knowledge and expertise based on scientific evidence, with curiosity and enthusiasm, but always with great empathy for the patient.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helmut Karl Seitz
    • 1
  • Sebastian Mueller
    • 1
  1. 1.Center of Alcohol Research, Liver Disease and NutritionUniversity of Heidelberg, and Department of Medicine, Salem Medical CenterHeidelbergGermany

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