Letter | Published:

Alcohol-induced Malabsorption of Vitamin B12 in Man

Naturevolume 224page806 (1969) | Download Citation



INTOXICATION with alcohol is frequently associated with diarrhoea, and disturbances of intestinal function have been reported to be common in chronic alcoholics studied shortly after drinking-bouts1–5. Because the normal diet of alcoholics is characteristically poor, it is not clear whether the transient malabsorption frequently found can be attributed to a direct toxic effect of ethanol on the small intestine, or to a nutritional deficiency. We therefore studied the effects of the experimental ingestion of ethanol in man on vitamin B12 absorption under controlled metabolic ward conditions in the absence of nutritional deficiency.

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  1. Department of Medicine, Columbia University, and Harlem Hospital Center

  2. Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

  3. Section of Liver Disease and Nutrition, Bronx Veterans Administration Hospital, New York



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