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Monday, May 21, 2012

Oxidative Effects of Chronic Ethanol Consumption on the Functions of Heart and Kidney: Folic Acid Supplementation

The principal aim of this study was to investigate the oxidative effects of chronic ethanol consumption on the functions of the heart and the kidney and the possible modification of this effect by folic acid supplementation. Moreover, in order to find whether this oxidative profile affects cardiovascular function, parameters such as heart rate and glomerular filtration rate were also assessed.

Four experimental groups of rats were used: control, ethanol-exposed, control supplemented with folic acid and ethanol-exposed plus folic acid. Ethanol-exposed rats were subjected to a chronic ethanol treatment (2 months), in which the level of alcohol reaches 30% v/v. Diet and ethanol solution were provided ad libitum, and folic acid supplementation was 8 vs. 2 ppm. Energy intake, creatinine clearance and heart rate were determined. Antioxidant enzyme activity and lipid and protein peroxidation of the kidney and the heart were measured by the spectrophotometric method.

Ethanol increases heart size and catalase (CAT) activity and decreases lipid peroxidation in heart without changing heart rate. However, in the kidney, ethanol decreases CAT activity, increases lipid peroxidation and decreases glomerular filtration rate. Folic acid supplementation avoids these situations; it does not, however, improve glomerular function.

Chronic ethanol consumption has many effects on the antioxidant enzymatic activity of the heart and the kidney, leading to increased renal lipid peroxidation prevented by folic acid supplementation.

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