Oxidative damage in alcoholic liver disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)


Objective The metabolic effects of alcohol are due both to its direct action and to that of its first metabolite, and can also be connected with the changes in redox state. Differences in ethanol distribution, bioavailability and hepatic metabolism can provide insight into the protective and predisposing factors in alcoholism, as well as gender differences of alcohol toxicity. Oxidative stress occurs following various conditions of ethanol consumption. Design Twenty-six Caucasian patients with alcoholism and 32 healthy, abstinent controls of both sexes were investigated with special regard to reduction-oxidation status and ad hoc free-radical-antioxidant balance. Method Plasma free SH-group concentration, H-donating ability, and reducing power property were measured by simple spectrophotometric methods. Total scavenger capacity was determined by a newly developed chemiluminometric method in plasma and erythrocytes. Results Alcoholics showed a decrease of free SH-group concentration, hydrogen-donating ability and an increase of reducing power property in plasma. A decreased total scavenger capacity of erythrocytes and plasma of alcoholic patients, combined with gender differences, could be detected. Conclusions Alcoholic dependence causes gradual exhaustion of the antioxidant capacity of erythrocytes, therefore this non-invasive measurement may be useful as a follow-up of the evolution of alcoholic liver disease. The results also suggest a gender susceptibility of alcohol toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-53
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2001


  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Antioxidant capacity
  • Chemiluminescence
  • Erythrocytes
  • Gender susceptibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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