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Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 1999 Apr;9(2):55-63.

Dietary vitamin B6 supplementation prevents ethanol-induced hypertension in rats.

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Department of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Canada.



All known pathways of ethanol metabolism result in the production of acetaldehyde, a highly reactive compound. Acetaldehyde has been shown to deplete vitamin B6 in chronic alcoholics. It also binds with sulfhydryl groups of membrane proteins, altering membrane Ca2+ channels and increasing vascular cytosolic free calcium, peripheral vascular resistance and blood pressure. The aldehyde-binding thiol compound, N-acetyl cysteine, attenuates elevated blood pressure and associated adverse changes in ethanol-induced hypertensive rats. Vitamin B6 supplementation increases the level of endogenous cysteine. Aim of this work was thus to investigate whether a dietary supplementation of vitamin B6 can prevent ethanol-induced hypertension and associated changes in Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats.


Starting at 7 weeks of age, WKY rats were divided into three groups of six animals each. The control group received a normal vitamin B6 diet (regular chow) and normal drinking water, the ethanol group, the same diet plus 1% ethanol in the drinking water, and the ethanol + vitamin B6 group a high vitamin B6 diet (20 times normal diet) and 1% ethanol in the drinking water. After 14 weeks, systolic blood pressure, platelet [Ca2+]i and kidney and aortic aldehyde conjugate levels were significantly higher in the ethanol group. These rats also showed smooth muscle cell hyperplasia in the small arteries and arterioles of the kidneys. Dietary vitamin B6 supplementation prevented these changes.


Dietary vitamin B6 supplementation prevented ethanol-induced hypertension and associated changes in WKY rats by normalizing tissue aldehyde conjugate levels.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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