Alcohol and Hepatic Iron Homeostasis

  • Barry J. Potter
Part of the Drug and Alcohol Abuse Reviews book series (DAAR, volume 2)


Alcoholic liver disease is associated with marked disorders of iron homeostasis. These abnormalities include changes in plasma iron turnover, 1 red cell iron incorporation, 1,2 depression of the serum levels of transferrin3 (the major serum iron transport protein), and, in approximately one-third of chronic alcoholics, an increase in liver iron concentrations. 4In the rat, ethanol alters the rate of synthesis and secretion of transferrin and other serum proteins by the liver. 5-7 Although these disturbances have been attributed to a variety of causes, such as a direct toxic effect of alcohol on heme synthesis,8 negative vitamin balance, 2altered iron absorption,9-11 or intake of greater quantities of iron contained in some alcoholic beverages,12,13 the mechanism(s) of these disorders remain(s) in doubt.


Iron Absorption Serum Ferritin Iron Overload Iron Uptake Serum Iron 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

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  • Barry J. Potter

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