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Nutrients 2012, 4(5), 356-371; doi:10.3390/nu4050356

The Adverse Effects of Alcohol on Vitamin A Metabolism

Department of Medicine and Institute of Human Nutrition, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA
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Received: 29 March 2012 / Revised: 30 April 2012 / Accepted: 3 May 2012 / Published: 7 May 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Health)
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Abstract

The objective of this review is to explore the relationship between alcohol and the metabolism of the essential micronutrient, vitamin A; as well as the impact this interaction has on alcohol-induced disease in adults. Depleted hepatic vitamin A content has been reported in human alcoholics, an observation that has been confirmed in animal models of chronic alcohol consumption. Indeed, alcohol consumption has been associated with declines in hepatic levels of retinol (vitamin A), as well as retinyl ester and retinoic acid; collectively referred to as retinoids. Through the use of animal models, the complex interplay between alcohol metabolism and vitamin A homeostasis has been studied; the reviewed research supports the notion that chronic alcohol consumption precipitates a decline in hepatic retinoid levels through increased breakdown, as well as increased export to extra-hepatic tissues. While the precise biochemical mechanisms governing alcohol’s effect remain to be elucidated, its profound effect on hepatic retinoid status is irrefutable. In addition to a review of the literature related to studies on tissue retinoid levels and the metabolic interactions between alcohol and retinoids, the significance of altered hepatic retinoid metabolism in the context of alcoholic liver disease is also considered. View Full-Text
Keywords: ethanol; retinol; retinyl ester; retinoic acid; hepatocyte; hepatic stellate cell; cytochrome P450; alcohol dehydrogenase; aldehyde dehydrogenase ethanol; retinol; retinyl ester; retinoic acid; hepatocyte; hepatic stellate cell; cytochrome P450; alcohol dehydrogenase; aldehyde dehydrogenase
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Clugston, R.D.; Blaner, W.S. The Adverse Effects of Alcohol on Vitamin A Metabolism. Nutrients 2012, 4, 356-371.

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