Different pathways of alcohol metabolism, the alcohol dehydrogenase pathway, the microsomal ethanol-oxidizing system and the catalase pathway are discussed. Alcohol consumption leads to accelerated ethanol metabolism by different mechanisms including an increased microsomal function. Microsomal induction leads to interactions of ethanol with drugs, hepatotoxic agents, steroids, vitamins and to an increased activation of mutagens/carcinogens. A number of ethanol-related complications may be explained by the production of its first metabolite, acetaldehyde, such as alterations of mitochondria, increased lipid peroxidation and microtubular alterations with its adverse effects on various cellular activities, including disturbances of cell division. Nutritional factors in alcoholics such as malnutrition are discussed especially with respect to its possible relation to cancer.
- Alcohol dehydrogenase pathway
- Catalase pathway
- Ethanol, metabolism, metabolic effects
- Microsomal oxidizing system