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J Biomed Sci. 2001 Jan-Feb;8(1):134-42.

Interaction of nutrition and binge ethanol treatment on brain damage and withdrawal.

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Bowles Center for Alcohol Studies, CB #7178, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7178, USA.


To determine if nutrition plays a role in ethanol withdrawal and alcohol-induced brain damage, the effects of a 4-day ethanol binge treatment using ethanol in a nutritionally complete liquid diet compared to ethanol mixed with water were studied. The nutritionally complete diet group (ETOH-diet) received a complete diet of sugars, proteins and fats with vitamins and minerals with approximately 53% of calories from ethanol while the nutritionally deprived group (ETOH-H2O) received 100% of calories from ethanol. No difference in withdrawal behavior was found between the ETOH-diet and ETOH-H2O groups during the 72-hour period studied. In addition, no difference was seen for serum levels of magnesium and zinc taken at last dose or following 72 h of withdrawal. Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and ammonia were increased in both groups with ETOH-diet showing a greater increase in ALT than ETOH-H2O. Both groups showed damage in the olfactory bulb, perirhinal, agranular insular, piriform and lateral entorhinal cortical areas as well as hippocampal dentate gyrus and CA-3. Interestingly, the ETOH-diet group displayed more damage at last dose in the posterior dentate and CA-3 of hippocampus than did the ETOH-H2O group. This study suggests that nutritional components and total caloric intake do not effect behavior during ethanol withdrawal and that a nutritionally complete diet may increase ethanol-induced brain damage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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