Clinical Review | Published:

The effects of alcohol consumption upon the gastrointestinal tract

American Journal of Gastroenterology volume 95, pages 33743382 (2000) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

Regardless of the type and dose of beverage involved, alcohol facilitates the development of gastroesophageal reflux disease by reducing the pressure of the lower esophageal sphincter and esophageal motility. Fermented and nondistilled alcoholic beverages increase gastrin levels and acid secretion. Succinic and maleic acid contained in certain alcoholic drinks also stimulate acid secretion. Low alcohol doses accelerate gastric emptying, whereas high doses delay emptying and slow bowel motility. Alcohol facilitates the development of superficial gastritis and chronic atrophic gastritis—though it has not been shown to cause peptic ulcer. Alcoholic beverages, fundamentally wine, have important bactericidal effects upon Helicobacter pylori and enteropathogenic bacteria. The main alcohol-related intestinal alterations are diarrhea and malabsorption, with recovery after restoring a normal diet. Alcohol facilitates the development of oropharyngeal, esophageal, gastric, and colon cancer. Initial research suggests that wine may be comparatively less carcinogenic.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    , Alcoholic liver disease: Proposed recommendations for the American College of Gastroenterology. Am J Gastroenterol 1998;93:2022–2036.

  2. 2.

    Review of alcoholic hepatitis, and its treatment. Am J Gastroenterol 1993;88:1822–1831.

  3. 3.

    , Alcohol and the pancreas. Recent Dev Alcohol 1998;14:41–65.

  4. 4.

    , , Mallory-Weiss syndrome. Evolution of diagnostic and therapeutic patterns over two decades. Ann Surg 1980;192:716–721.

  5. 5.

    , Induction of gastro-esophageal reflux by alcohol. Gut 1978;19:336–338.

  6. 6.

    , , , et al. Esophageal motor disorder in alcoholics: Result of alcoholism or withdrawal?. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 1990;14:561–567.

  7. 7.

    , , , et al. High amplitude contractions in the middle third of the oesophagus: A manometric marker of chronic alcoholism?. Gut 1996;38:655–662.

  8. 8.

    , , , et al. Esophageal exposure to ethanol increases risk of acid damage in rabbit esophagus. Dig Dis Sci 1999;44:290–300.

  9. 9.

    , , , et al. Ethanol and the gastrointestinal tract. Arq Gastroenterol 1995;32:131–139.

  10. 10.

    , , Effect of graded doses of alcohol upon esophageal motor function. Gastroenterology 1978;76:1133–1136.

  11. 11.

    , , , et al. Effects of red wine on 24-hour esophageal pH and pressures in healthy volunteers. Dig Dis Sci 1997;42:1189–1193.

  12. 12.

    , Relationships between the acidity and osmolality of popular beverages and reported postprandial heartburn. Gastroenterology 1995;108:125–131.

  13. 13.

    , , Alcohol and gastric acid secretion in humans. Gut 1993;34:843–847.

  14. 14.

    , , , et al. Action of ethanol and some alcoholic beverages on gastric acid secretion and release of gastrin in humans. Gastroenterology 1987;93:1247–1254.

  15. 15.

    , , Wine and five percent ethanol are potent stimulants of gastric acid secretion in humans. Gastroenterology 1983;85:1082–1087.

  16. 16.

    , , , et al. Effect of alcohol and alcoholic beverages on meal-stimulated pancreatic secretion in humans. Gastroenterology 1990;98:191–196.

  17. 17.

    , , , et al. Alcoholic beverages produced by alcoholic fermentation but not by distillation are powerful stimulants of gastric acid secretion in humans. Gut 1997;40:49–56.

  18. 18.

    , , , et al. Maleic acid and succinic acid in fermented alcoholic beverages are the stimulates of gastric acid secretion. J Clin Invest 1999;103:707–709.

  19. 19.

    , , Effect of ethanol and commonly ingested alcoholic beverages on gastric emptying and gastrointestinal transit. Clin Investig 1992;70:487–491.

  20. 20.

    , , , et al. Effects of alcohol on the pyloric sphincter. Dig Dis Sci 1979;24:934–939.

  21. 21.

    , , , et al. Gastric secretion and gastric mucosal morphology in chronic alcoholics. Arch Intern Med 1972;130:715–719.

  22. 22.

    , , , et al. Chronic alcoholic gastritis. Roles of alcohol and Helicobacter pylori. Arch Intern Med 1991;151:760–764.

  23. 23.

    , , , et al. Evaluation of effects of ethyl alcohol and bismuth subsalicylate on gastric mucosal barrier in man. Dig Dis Sci 1999;44:286–289.

  24. 24.

    , , , et al. Action of pure ethanol and some alcoholic beverages on the gastric mucosa in healthy humans: A descriptive endoscopic study. Endoscopy 1998;30:293–301.

  25. 25.

    , , , et al. Ethanol-induced alterations of matrix network in the duodenal mucosa of chronic alcohol abusers. Virchows Arch 1999;434:127–135.

  26. 26.

    , , , et al. Gamma-glutamyl transferase, intestinal alkaline phosphatase and beta-hexosaminidase activity in duodenal biopsies from chronic alcoholics. Hepatogastroenterology 1998;45:985–989.

  27. 27.

    , , Effect of antiperoxidative drugs on gastric damage induced by ethanol in rats. Life Sci 1987;41:755–763.

  28. 28.

    , , Mucosal mast cells. Effect of quercetin and other flavonoids on antigen-induced histamine secretion from rat intestinal mast cells. J Allergy Clin Immunology 1984;73:819–823.

  29. 29.

    , , Survival of enteric pathogens in common beverages: An in vitro study. Am J Gastroenterol 1988;83:658–660.

  30. 30.

    , , Wine as a digestive aid: Comparative antimicrobial effects of bismuth salicylate and red and white wine. BMJ 1995;311:1657–1660.

  31. 31.

    , , , et al. Antibacterial activity of wine against Salmonella enteriditis pTH or alcohol? J Clin Gastroenterol 1998;27:179–180.

  32. 32.

    , , , et al. Brote de infección alimentaria por Salmonella enteritidis. Posible efecto protector de las bebidas alcohólicas. Med Clin (Barc) 1996;107:641–644.

  33. 33.

    , , Don't rely on drinking wine to prevent traveller's diarrhoea. BMJ 1996;312:642.

  34. 34.

    , , , et al. In vitro bactericidal effect of wine against Helicobacter pylori. Am J Gastroenterol 1998;93:1392.

  35. 35.

    , , , et al. Inverse graded relation between alcohol consumption and active infection with Helicobacter pylori. Am J Epidemiol 1999;149:571–576.

  36. 36.

    , , , et al. The protective effect of alcohol on the occurrence of epidemic oyster-borne hepatitis A. Epidemiology 1992;3:371–374.

  37. 37.

    , Effects of alcohols on micro-organisms. Adv Microb Physiol 1984;25:253–300.

  38. 38.

    , , The leaky gut of alcoholism: Possible route of entry for toxic compounds. Lancet 1984;1:179–182.

  39. 39.

    , , , et al. Jejunal microflora in patients with chronic alcohol abuse. Hepatogastroenterology 1985;31:30–34.

  40. 40.

    , , , et al. Villous damage induced by suction biopsy and by acute ethanol intake in normal human small intestine. Dig Dis Sci 1980;25:513–525.

  41. 41.

    , , , et al. Thiamine transport across the rat intestine. Effect of ethanol. J Lab Clin Med 1975;86:803–816.

  42. 42.

    , Effects of chronic ethanol administration on intestinal absorption in man in the absence of nutritional deficiency. Ann NY Acad Sci 1975;252:228–234.

  43. 43.

    Effect of ethanol ingestion on duodenal calcium transport. J Lab Clin Med 1975;85:665–671.

  44. 44.

    , , , et al. Acute and chronic effects of alcohol on iron absorption. Dig Dis Sci 1983;28:321–327.

  45. 45.

    , , Symptomatic intestinal disaccharidase deficiency in alcoholics. Gastroenterology 1977;72:680–684.

  46. 46.

    , , , et al. Zinc metabolism in alcoholic liver disease. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 1986;10:582–589.

  47. 47.

    Intestinal function in chronic alcoholism. Ann NY Acad Sci 1975;252:215–227.

  48. 48.

    , , Decreased jejunal uptake of labeled folic acid (3 H-PGA) in alcoholic patients: Roles of alcohol and nutrition. N Engl J Med 1971;285:701–706.

  49. 49.

    , , Depression, alcohol abuse and orocaecal transit time. Gut 1997;41:417–418.

  50. 50.

    , , , et al. Intestinal transit in anxiety and depression. Gut 1996;39:551–555.

  51. 51.

    , , , et al. Recovery from disturbed colonic transit time after alcohol withdrawal. Dis Colon Rectum 1991;34:111–114.

  52. 52.

    , , , et al. Effect of ethanol on motility of the small intestine. Johns Hopkins Med J 1974;135:17–24.

  53. 53.

    , , , et al. Alcohol ingestion-induced changes in the human rectal mucosa: Light and electron microscopic studies. Dis Colon Rectum 1978;21:329–335.

  54. 54.

    , , Substances that interfere with guaiac card tests: Implications for gastric aspirate testing. Am J Emerg Med 1989;7:474–480.

  55. 55.

    The effect of ethanol on the pancreatic duct sphincter of Oddi. Am J Gastroenterol 1993;88:656–660.

  56. 56.

    Effect of ethanol on the sphincter of Oddi: An endoscopic manometric study. Gut 1983;24:20–27.

  57. 57.

    , , , et al. Ethanol inhibits sphincter of Oddi motility. J Gastroenterol Surg 1998;2:356–362.

  58. 58.

    , , , et al. Mechanisms of acetaldehyde-mediated growth inhibition: Delayed cell cycle progression and induction of apoptosis. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 1995;19:434–440.

  59. 59.

    , Alcohol y cáncer. Jano 1998;54:45–47.

  60. 60.

    , , , et al. Intake of vegetables, fruits, beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin supplements and cancer incidence among the elderly: A prospective study. Br J Cancer 1992;66:673–679.

  61. 61.

    , , , et al. A case-control study of diet and lung cancer in kerala, south India. Int J Cancer 1994;58:644–649.

  62. 62.

    , , , et al. Quercetin and rutin as inhibitors of azoxymethanol-induced colonic neoplasia. Carcinogenesis 1991;12:1193–1196.

  63. 63.

    , , Red wine and antioxidant activity in serum. Lancet 1994;344:193–194.

  64. 64.

    , , , et al. Inhibition of 7,12-dimethylbenzanthracen and N-nitrosomethyl urea induced rat mammary cancer by dietary flavonol quercetin. Cancer Research 1988;48:5754–5758.

  65. 65.

    , Toxicity and carcinogenicity studies of quercetin, a natural component of food. Fundam Appl Toxicol 1992;19:423–431.

  66. 66.

    , Effect of ascorbic acid and curcumen on quercetin-induced nuclear DNA damage, lipid peroxidation and protein degradation. Cancer Lett 1992;63:237–241.

  67. 67.

    , Effects of antioxidants on quercetin-induced nuclear DNA damage and lipid peroxidation. Cancer Lett 1991;60:259–264.

  68. 68.

    , Review of the biology of quercetin and related bioflavonoids. Fd Chem Toxic 1995;33:1061–1080.

  69. 69.

    , , , et al. Cancer chemopreventive activity of resveratrol, a natural product derived from grapes. Science 1997;275:218–220.

  70. 70.

    , , , et al. Chemopreventive agent resveratrol, a natural product derived from grapes, triggers CD95 signaling-dependent apoptosis in human tumour cells. Blood 1998;92:996–1002.

  71. 71.

    , , , et al. Resveratrol, a natural product in wine, decreases tumour growth in a rat tumour model. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1999;27:739–743.

  72. 72.

    , , Effects of flavonoids and vitamin C on oxidative DNA damage to human lymphocytes. Am J Clin Nutr 1998;67:1210–1218.

  73. 73.

    , Tea and cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 1993;85:1038–1049.

  74. 74.

    , , Cigarette and alcohol use in patients with adenocarcinoma of the gastric cardia or lower esophagus. Cancer 1992;69:2227–2231.

  75. 75.

    , , , et al. Tobacco and alcohol intake in relation to adenocarcinoma of gastric cardia in Spain. Cancer Causes Control 1994;5:88–89.

  76. 76.

    , , , et al. Risk factors for esophageal cancer in Shanghai, China. 1. Role of cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking. Int J Cancer 1994;58:192–196.

  77. 77.

    , Association of cancer sites with tobacco and alcohol consumption and socio-economic status of patients: Interview study form the Third National Cancer Survey. J Natl Cancer Inst 1977;58:525–547.

  78. 78.

    , , , et al. Population based cohort study of the association between alcohol intake and cancer of the upper digestive tract. BMJ 1998;317:844–848.

  79. 79.

    , , , et al. Tobacco, alcohol, and socio-economic status and adenocarcinomas of the esophagus and gastric cardia. J Nat Cancer Inst 1997;89:1277–1284.

  80. 80.

    , , , et al. Alcohol, low-methionine-low-folate diets, and risk of colon cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 1995;87:265–273.

  81. 81.

    , Alcohol consumption and the etiology of colorectal cancer: A review of the scientific evidence from 1957 to 1991. Nutr Cancer 1992;18:97–111.

  82. 82.

    , , , et al. Alcohol consumption in patients with colorectal adenomatous polyps. Gut 1991;32:70–72.

  83. 83.

    , , , et al. Alcohol intake and risk of cancers of the colon and rectum. Nutr Cancer 1998;30:213–219.

  84. 84.

    , , , et al. Folate, methionine and alcohol intake and risk of colorectal adenoma. J Natl Cancer Inst 1993;85:875–884.

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Gastroenterology, San Eloy Hospital, Baracaldo, Spain

    • Luis Bujanda

Authors

  1. Search for Luis Bujanda in:

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Luis Bujanda.

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1572-0241.2000.03347.x

Further reading