Mechanisms of vitamin deficiencies in alcoholism

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1986 Dec;10(6):573-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.1986.tb05147.x.


Chronic alcoholic patients are frequently deficient in one or more vitamins. The deficiencies commonly involve folate, vitamin B6, thiamine, and vitamin A. Although inadequate dietary intake is a major cause of the vitamin deficiency, other possible mechanisms may also be involved. Alcoholism can affect the absorption, storage, metabolism, and activation of many of these vitamins. Possible factors which cause alterations in the absorption, storage, and metabolism of these vitamins are discussed. Suggestions for management of vitamin deficiencies in chronic alcoholics are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholism / complications*
  • Avitaminosis / etiology*
  • Avitaminosis / therapy
  • Folic Acid Deficiency / etiology
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Absorption
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Thiamine Deficiency / etiology
  • Vitamin A Deficiency / etiology
  • Vitamin B 6 Deficiency / etiology