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Clin Liver Dis. 2005 Feb;9(1):1-35.

Metabolism of alcohol.

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  • 1Bronx VA Medical Center (151-2), 130 West Kingsbridge Road, Bronx, NY 10468, USA.


Most tissues of the body contain enzymes capable of ethanol oxidation or nonoxidative metabolism, but significant activity occurs only in the liver and, to a lesser extent, in the stomach. Hence, medical consequences are predominant in these organs. In the liver, ethanol oxidation generates an excess of reducing equivalents, primarily as NADH, causing hepatotoxicity. An additional system, containing cytochromes P-450 inducible by chronic alcohol feeding, was demonstrated in liver microsomes and found to be a major cause of hepatotoxicity.

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