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Special Issue "Alcohol and Health"

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A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2012)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Eileen M. Redmond (Website)

Basic and Translational Research Division, Department of Surgery, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester NY, USA
Interests: cardiovascular effects of alcohol and red wine constituents, Notch signaling, hemodynamic forces

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Alcohol is a commonly used and abused drug. Epidemiological studies have identified alcohol consumption as a modifiable factor that influences, positively and negatively, several diseases. These include cardiovascular disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Often there appears to be a differential effect of different drinking patterns, with frequent moderate consumption of alcohol being salutary and binge drinking or chronic abuse being deleterious to ones health. A better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms mediating the effects of alcohol consumption is beginning to emerge, as well as a clearer picture as to whether these effects are due to the direct actions of alcohol (i.e., ethanol) itself, or caused in part by it’s metabolites, e.g., acetaldehyde, or by incidental components present in the alcoholic beverage (e.g., polyphenols in red wine). This special issue will include original research articles as well as review articles addressing various aspects of the impact of alcohol on disease progression.

Dr. Eileen M. Redmond
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • Ethanol
  • Epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular
  • Cancer
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Molecular targets
  • Acetaldehyde
  • Alcohol metabolites
  • Drinking patterns
  • Lifestyle modifications

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Impaired Insulin/IGF Signaling in Experimental Alcohol-Related Myopathy
Nutrients 2012, 4(8), 1058-1075; doi:10.3390/nu4081058
Received: 3 July 2012 / Revised: 7 August 2012 / Accepted: 13 August 2012 / Published: 20 August 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (832 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Alcohol-related myopathy (Alc-M) is highly prevalent among heavy drinkers, although its pathogenesis is not well understood. We hypothesize that Alc-M is mediated by combined effects of insulin/IGF resistance and oxidative stress, similar to the effects of ethanol on liver and brain. We [...] Read more.
Alcohol-related myopathy (Alc-M) is highly prevalent among heavy drinkers, although its pathogenesis is not well understood. We hypothesize that Alc-M is mediated by combined effects of insulin/IGF resistance and oxidative stress, similar to the effects of ethanol on liver and brain. We tested this hypothesis using an established model in which adult rats were pair-fed for 8 weeks with isocaloric diets containing 0% (N = 8) or 35.5% (N = 13) ethanol by caloric content. Gastrocnemius muscles were examined by histology, morphometrics, qRT-PCR analysis, and ELISAs. Chronic ethanol feeding reduced myofiber size and mRNA expression of IGF-1 polypeptide, insulin, IGF-1, and IGF-2 receptors, IRS-1, and IRS-2. Multiplex ELISAs demonstrated ethanol-associated inhibition of insulin, IRS-1, Akt, and p70S6K signaling, and increased activation of GSK-3β. In addition, ethanol-exposed muscles had increased 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal immunoreactivity, reflecting lipid peroxidation, and reduced levels of mitochondrial Complex IV, Complex V, and acetylcholinesterase. These results demonstrate that experimental Alc-M is associated with inhibition of insulin/IGF/IRS and downstream signaling that mediates metabolism and cell survival, similar to findings in alcoholic liver and brain degeneration. Moreover, the increased oxidative stress, which could be mediated by mitochondrial dysfunction, may have led to inhibition of acetylcholinesterase, which itself is sufficient to cause myofiber atrophy and degeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Health)
Open AccessArticle Experimental Alcohol-Related Peripheral Neuropathy: Role of Insulin/IGF Resistance
Nutrients 2012, 4(8), 1042-1057; doi:10.3390/nu4081042
Received: 9 July 2012 / Revised: 30 July 2012 / Accepted: 2 August 2012 / Published: 17 August 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (830 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The mechanisms of alcohol-related peripheral neuropathy (ALPN) are poorly understood. We hypothesize that, like alcohol-related liver and brain degeneration, ALPN may be mediated by combined effects of insulin/IGF resistance and oxidative stress. Adult male Long Evans rats were chronically pair-fed with diets containing 0% or 37% ethanol (caloric), and subjected to nerve conduction studies. Chronic ethanol feeding slowed nerve conduction in the tibial (p = 0.0021) motor nerve, and not plantar sensory nerve, but it did not affect amplitude. Histological studies of the sciatic nerve revealed reduced nerve fiber diameters with increased regenerative sprouts, and denervation myopathy in ethanol-fed rats. qRT-PCR analysis demonstrated reduced mRNA levels of insulin, IGF-1, and IGF-2 polypeptides, IGF-1 receptor, and IRS2, and ELISAs revealed reduced immunoreactivity for insulin and IGF-1 receptors, IRS-1, IRS-4, myelin-associated glycoprotein, and tau in sciatic nerves of ethanol-fed rats (all p < 0.05 or better). The findings suggest that ALPN is characterized by (1) slowed conduction velocity with demyelination, and a small component of axonal degeneration; (2) impaired trophic factor signaling due to insulin and IGF resistance; and (3) degeneration of myelin and axonal cytoskeletal proteins. Therefore, ALPN is likely mediated by molecular and signal transduction abnormalities similar to those identified in alcoholic liver and brain degeneration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Health)
Open AccessArticle Alcohol Exposure Alters Mouse Lung Inflammation in Response to Inhaled Dust
Nutrients 2012, 4(7), 695-710; doi:10.3390/nu4070695
Received: 5 March 2012 / Revised: 21 June 2012 / Accepted: 26 June 2012 / Published: 4 July 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1545 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Alcohol exposure is associated with increased lung infections and decreased mucociliary clearance. Occupational workers exposed to dusts from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are at risk for developing chronic inflammatory lung diseases. Agricultural worker co-exposure to alcohol and organic dust has been [...] Read more.
Alcohol exposure is associated with increased lung infections and decreased mucociliary clearance. Occupational workers exposed to dusts from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are at risk for developing chronic inflammatory lung diseases. Agricultural worker co-exposure to alcohol and organic dust has been established, although little research has been conducted on the combination effects of alcohol and organic dusts on the lung. Previously, we have shown in a mouse model that exposure to hog dust extract (HDE) collected from a CAFO results in the activation of protein kinase C (PKC), elevated lavage fluid cytokines/chemokines including interleukin-6 (IL-6), and the development of significant lung pathology. Because alcohol blocks airway epithelial cell release of IL-6 in vitro, we hypothesized that alcohol exposure would alter mouse lung inflammatory responses to HDE. To test this hypothesis, C57BL/6 mice were fed 20% alcohol or water ad libitum for 6 weeks and treated with 12.5% HDE by intranasal inhalation method daily during the final three weeks. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), tracheas and lungs were collected. HDE stimulated a 2–4 fold increase in lung and tracheal PKCε (epsilon) activity in mice, but no such increase in PKCε activity was observed in dust-exposed mice fed alcohol. Similarly, alcohol-fed mice demonstrated significantly less IL-6 in lung lavage in response to dust than that observed in control mice instilled with HDE. TNFα levels were also inhibited in the alcohol and HDE-exposed mouse lung tissue as compared to the HDE only exposed group. HDE-induced lung inflammatory aggregates clearly present in the tissue from HDE only exposed animals were not visually detectable in the HDE/alcohol co-exposure group. Statistically significant weight reductions and 20% mortality were also observed in the mice co-exposed to HDE and alcohol. These data suggest that alcohol exposure depresses the ability of the lung to activate PKCε-dependent inflammatory pathways to environmental dust exposure. These data also define alcohol as an important co-exposure agent to consider in the study of inhalation injury responses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Health)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Wine, Beer, Alcohol and Polyphenols on Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer
Nutrients 2012, 4(7), 759-781; doi:10.3390/nu4070759
Received: 26 April 2012 / Revised: 26 June 2012 / Accepted: 27 June 2012 / Published: 10 July 2012
Cited by 80 | PDF Full-text (245 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since ancient times, people have attributed a variety of health benefits to moderate consumption of fermented beverages such as wine and beer, often without any scientific basis. There is evidence that excessive or binge alcohol consumption is associated with increased morbidity and [...] Read more.
Since ancient times, people have attributed a variety of health benefits to moderate consumption of fermented beverages such as wine and beer, often without any scientific basis. There is evidence that excessive or binge alcohol consumption is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, as well as with work related and traffic accidents. On the contrary, at the moment, several epidemiological studies have suggested that moderate consumption of alcohol reduces overall mortality, mainly from coronary diseases. However, there are discrepancies regarding the specific effects of different types of beverages (wine, beer and spirits) on the cardiovascular system and cancer, and also whether the possible protective effects of alcoholic beverages are due to their alcoholic content (ethanol) or to their non-alcoholic components (mainly polyphenols). Epidemiological and clinical studies have pointed out that regular and moderate wine consumption (one to two glasses a day) is associated with decreased incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, including colon, basal cell, ovarian, and prostate carcinoma. Moderate beer consumption has also been associated with these effects, but to a lesser degree, probably because of beer’s lower phenolic content. These health benefits have mainly been attributed to an increase in antioxidant capacity, changes in lipid profiles, and the anti-inflammatory effects produced by these alcoholic beverages. This review summarizes the main protective effects on the cardiovascular system and cancer resulting from moderate wine and beer intake due mainly to their common components, alcohol and polyphenols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Health)
Open AccessReview The Adverse Effects of Alcohol on Vitamin A Metabolism
Nutrients 2012, 4(5), 356-371; doi:10.3390/nu4050356
Received: 29 March 2012 / Revised: 30 April 2012 / Accepted: 3 May 2012 / Published: 7 May 2012
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (285 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Health)
Open AccessReview Alcohol and Cardiovascular Disease—Modulation of Vascular Cell Function
Nutrients 2012, 4(4), 297-318; doi:10.3390/nu4040297
Received: 7 March 2012 / Revised: 12 April 2012 / Accepted: 16 April 2012 / Published: 19 April 2012
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (917 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Alcohol is a commonly used drug worldwide. Epidemiological studies have identified alcohol consumption as a factor that may either positively or negatively influence many diseases including cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and dementia. Often there seems to be a differential effect of various [...] Read more.
Alcohol is a commonly used drug worldwide. Epidemiological studies have identified alcohol consumption as a factor that may either positively or negatively influence many diseases including cardiovascular disease, certain cancers and dementia. Often there seems to be a differential effect of various drinking patterns, with frequent moderate consumption of alcohol being salutary and binge drinking or chronic abuse being deleterious to one’s health. A better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms mediating the many effects of alcohol consumption is beginning to emerge, as well as a clearer picture as to whether these effects are due to the direct actions of alcohol itself, or caused in part by its metabolites, e.g., acetaldehyde, or by incidental components present in the alcoholic beverage (e.g., polyphenols in red wine). This review will discuss evidence to date as to how alcohol (ethanol) might affect atherosclerosis that underlies cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, and the putative mechanisms involved, focusing on vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cell effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Health)

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