chapter  6
33 Pages

Ethanol toxicity and nutritional status

Without a doubt alcohol (in this text used interchangably with the term ethanol) remains the favorite mood-altering drug worldwide, especially in industrialized regions such as Europe and the United States, and alcoholism retains its status as a progressive, sometimes fatal disease. Nutritional and hepatic disorders remain at the forefront of the medical problems associated with alcohol abuse. However, alcohol is not only a psychoactive drug, but also a food, since it is rich in energy, and many societies have alcoholic beverages integrated into their daily food supply. In contrast, in other societies alcohol is mainly consumed for its moodaltering effects. Under both circumstances a large intake of alcohol has profound effects on nutritional status.