Interaction of the contents of alcoholic beverages in the promotion of liver damage.

J Peneda, A Baptista, J M Lopes


The adverse effects of the exposure of the liver to the interaction of ethanol with its congeners and acetaldehyde, coexisting in the contents of alcoholic beverages, have been little studied. Twenty four male Wistar rats were divided into four groups. Two groups (SH/DA; SH/FA) were submitted to daily treatment with synthetic hydroalcoholic solutions containing ethanol, methanol, higher alcohols and acetaldehyde in the same proportions as those found in most common distilled and fermented alcoholic beverages; the third group (SH/EA) was treated with a hydroalcoholic solution of ethanol; the fourth group served as control and received an equivalent volume of an isocaloric solution of dextrose. All the animals were killed at the end of the 9th week of the experiment. The ratio between the liver weight and body weight was found to be lower in the treated animals than in the control group. The histology of the liver was altered in the three groups which were submitted to treatment with the hydroalcoholic solutions, with quantitative and qualitative differences between the groups. These results suggest that the hepatoxicity of ethanol in alcoholic beverages is enhanced by interaction with its congeners and acetaldehyde; they also suggest that alcoholic beverages are not equivalent in their potential to cause liver damage.

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