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Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2000 Aug;2(4):331-6.

Nutritional effects of alcoholism.

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Robert Schwartz Center for Metabolism and Nutrition, Division of Gastroenterology, MetroHealth Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, USA.


Alcohol is the most frequently used drug worldwide and remains a socially acceptable hepatotoxin. Although the toxic effects of alcohol on various organs (liver, pancreas, heart, and intestine) are well recognized, the role of alcohol in overall energy and protein metabolism is less well understood. In particular, the efficiency of alcohol as a source of calories and as a substrate for energy production appears to be influenced by the amount of both alcohol and fat consumption as well as by gender. The relationship between alcohol intake and body weight is complex, but it is a clinical dilemma with important nutritional implications for weight management in addition to specific organ toxicity.

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