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Am J Clin Nutr. 1988 Dec;48(6):1431-5.

Vitamin A treatment of sexual dysfunction in male alcoholics.

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  • 1Alcohol Research and Treatment Center, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Bronx, NY 10468.


Thirty abstinent male alcoholics with sexual dysfunction were randomized to treatment with 3 mg RE (10,000 IU) vitamin A or placebo daily for 4 mo. Age, drinking history, period of abstinence before enrollment, and base-line laboratory indices were comparable in both groups at entry. Of the 15 subjects given placebo, 13 had a partial or full recovery of sexual functioning. By contrast, of those given vitamin A, 10 had a partial response. There were no complete responders. Six subjects (1 placebo, 5 vitamin A) who developed liver abnormalities during treatment underwent liver biopsies; five had fibrosis or cirrhosis. A significant decrease in luteinizing hormone was noted in the group given vitamin A compared with the placebo-treated group. Thus vitamin A therapy did not improve sexual functioning in male alcoholics and may have been associated with toxicity.

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