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Effects of Ethanol upon Organ Systems Other than the Central Nervous System

  • David H. Van Thiel

Abstract

Chronic alcoholism is a multisystem disease that adversely affects all of the organs of the body. Adverse effects on organs such as the gastrointestinal tract can begin immediately following ingestion of alcohol and extend to the liver as well as other organs following absorption. The liver is particularly susceptible to alcohol-associated injury, as it is the site within the body where most of the metabolism of ethanol occurs (see Chapter 3). Until the liver has disposed of the ingested ethanol, however, alcohol is present in the bloodstream and can affect the function of the brain, heart, muscles, and gonads. Ethanol is not only toxic per se but its metabolism may produce toxic metabolites such as acetaldehyde and acetate. In addition, changes in cellular redox potential occurring as a result of ethanol metabolism can disturb cellular intermediary metabolism at multiple sites.

Keywords

Alcoholic Liver Disease Ethanol Ingestion Ethanol Exposure Folate Deficiency Chronic Ethanol 
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.

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© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • David H. Van Thiel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of GastroenterologyUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA

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