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Alcohol and Nutrition

Nutritional Effects of Alcohol use


Primary:  Caused by displacement of nutrients of food due to increased alcohol intake.

Secondary:  Caused by maldigestion and absorption of nutrients due to gastrointestinal complications.

Nutrients of Concern

Thiamin (Vitamin B1): Symptoms of deficiency include weakness, swelling of extremities, low blood pressure, low body temperature and in severe cases neurological problems.

Folate:  Symptoms of deficiency include sore tongue, fatigue, diarrhea, anemia and in severe cases neurological problems.

Low Thiamin and Folate levels decrease appetite which, in addition to excessive alcohol use, complicates one's ability to correct the deficiency 

Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6):  Symptoms of deficiency include anemia, convulsions, behavior changes, skin lesions and in severe cases neurological problems.

Zinc (mineral):  Symptoms of deficiency include impaired sense of taste and/or smell, decreased wound healing, skin lesions.

Magnesium (mineral): Symptoms of deficiency include, muscle twitching or weakness, low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and dizziness.

Iron (mineral): may be high or low with excessive alcohol intake.

The best diet is a varied diet

•·         Be responsible with alcohol use and avoid the potential displacement of food and its valuable nutrients.

•·         Avoid the temptation to cut back food calories in response to increased alcohol calories.  Alcohol offers no nutritional value when it comes to vitamins and minerals.