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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1981;51(3):274-8.

Vitamin C utilization status in chronic alcoholic patients after short-term intravenous therapy.


Blood (leukocytic) ascorbic acid (vitamin C) levels were estimated in 25 chronic alcoholics (M = 21; F = 4; Age: mean +/- S.D. = 46.28 +/- 8.78; range 28-61 years) on admission before starting any treatment and on the sixth day following intravenous therapy with vitamin C -- 500 mg daily for 5 days. Twenty-four out of 25 patients (96%) were found to be deficient in blood vitamin C (mean +/- S.D. = 68.44 +/- 28.13; range = 28-148; normal range for control population = 120-300 nmol/10(8) W.B.C.). The status of blood vitamin C was significantly improved after the replenishment therapy with I/V vitamin C 500 mg daily for 5 days (mean +/- S.D. = 108.32 +/- 34.98 nmol/10(8) W.B.C.: range = 54-282.5; t = 3.76; P = less than 0.001). Still the levels did not return to within the normal range in 16 patients out of 25 (64%). In view of the biochemical deficiency of vitamin C in chronic alcoholics, it is suggested that conventional detoxification therapy for ethanol withdrawal syndrome should include polyvitamins including ascorbic acid. It is further suggested that more prolonged replenishment therapy with vitamin C, preferably by intravenous route, may be needed to normalize its blood levels in some chronic alcoholic patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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