Moderate alcohol consumption reduces urinary 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine by inducing of uric acid

Ind Health. 2001 Oct;39(4):322-9. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.39.322.


Recent studies suggest that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a low risk of cancer, coronary heart disease, and other diseases. Most of these diseases are considered to be related to the action of reactive oxygen species (ROS) at certain stages of disease progression. However, considerable evidence exists indicating that ethanol generates ROS in vivo. Thus, the reduced risk of disease as a result of alcohol consumption seems to contradict evidence suggesting the induction of ROS by ethanol. In the present study, we investigated whether oxidative stress was induced in moderate alcohol drinkers. We measured the total urinary biopyrrins and 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) levels as a systemic oxidative stress marker and an oxidative DNA damage marker, respectively. Serum uric acid was also measured as an alcohol-induced antioxidant. We compared total urinary biopyrrins and 8-OHdG levels among groups with different alcohol habits. The results showed that total biopyrrins levels increased with the amount of alcohol consumed, but that the level of 8-OHdG significantly decreased with the amount of alcohol consumed. The decrease in 8-OHdG levels seemed to be associated with increasing levels of uric acid. Judging from the increasing level of total biopyrrins, alcohol may induce ROS. ROS may then cause cell damage in liver, as suggested by the positive correlation between the total biopyrrins levels and the serum GOT, GPT, and gammaGTP levels. However, since ROS may be more effectively counteracted by uric acid in organs other than the liver, DNA damage may be suppressed rather than induced. Accordingly, moderate alcohol consumption seems to have the overall effect of reducing DNA damage, as shown by the decrease in urinary 8-OHdG levels observed in our study.

MeSH terms

  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcohol Drinking / blood
  • Alcohol Drinking / metabolism*
  • Alcohol Drinking / urine
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • DNA Damage*
  • Deoxyguanosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Deoxyguanosine / urine*
  • Dipyrone / urine*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Uric Acid / urine*


  • Biomarkers
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Uric Acid
  • Dipyrone
  • 8-Hydroxy-2'-Deoxyguanosine
  • Deoxyguanosine