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Friday, May 24, 2013

Blood thiamine, zinc, selenium, lead and oxidative stress in a population of male and female alcoholics: clinical evidence and gender differences.

Long term alcohol abuse is associated with deficiencies in essential nutrients and minerals that can cause a variety of medical consequences including accumulation of toxic metals. Aim. The aim of this research is to get evidence-based data to evaluate alcohol damage and to optimize treatment. Thiamine and thiamine diphosphate (T/TDP), zinc (Zn), selenium (Se), lead (Pb) and oxidative stress in terms of reactive oxygen metabolites (ROMs) were examined in blood samples from 58 alcohol dependent patients (17 females and 41 males).

T/TDP concentration in alcoholics resulted significantly lower than controls (p < 0.005) for both sexes. Serum Zn and Se did not significantly differ from reference values. Levels of blood Pb in alcoholics resulted significantly higher (p < 0.0001) than Italian reference values and were higher in females than in males. ROMs concentration was significantly higher than healthy population only in female abusers (p = 0.005).

Alcoholics show a significant increase in blood oxidative stress and Pb and decrease in thiamine. Impairment occurs mainly in female abusers confirming a gender specific vulnerability.

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