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Free Radic Biol Med. 2002 Apr 15;32(8):683-7.

Free radicals in alcoholic myopathy: indices of damage and preventive studies.

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Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, King's College, London, England, UK.


Chronic alcoholic myopathy affects up to two-thirds of all alcohol misusers and is characterized by selective atrophy of Type II (glycolytic, fast-twitch, anaerobic) fibers. In contrast, the Type I fibers (oxidative, slow-twitch, aerobic) are relatively protected. Alcohol increases the concentration of cholesterol hydroperoxides and malondialdehyde-protein adducts, though protein-carbonyl concentration levels do not appear to be overtly increased and may actually decrease in some studies. In alcoholics, plasma concentrations of alpha-tocopherol may be reduced in myopathic patients. However, alpha-tocopherol supplementation has failed to prevent either the loss of skeletal muscle protein or the reductions in protein synthesis in alcohol-dosed animals. The evidence for increased oxidative stress in alcohol-exposed skeletal muscle is thus inconsistent. Further work into the role of ROS in alcoholic myopathy is clearly warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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