Abnormalities in Essential Fatty Acid Status in Alcoholism

  • Norman SalemJr.
  • Nils Urban Olsson


Alcoholism is a devastating disease that causes great human suffering, enormous economic losses, and often leads to a constellation of other medical disorders. It is now perceived to be a biological illness with a physiological basis underlying a psychiatric disorder; indeed, studies of identical twins have suggested a genetic component (for review, see Health, 1995). The formal diagnosis of alcoholism involves four principal components: craving, impaired control over drinking, physical dependence, and tolerance. In the United States alone, nearly 14 million people are believed to meet diagnostic criterion for alcoholism (Grant et al., 1994). It has been estimated that 20–40% of patients in urban hospitals are there for an illness related to alcoholism (Goridis, 1995). Alcohol intoxication is associated with about one half of all homicides and serious assaults, one third of suicides and accidental deaths, as well as many cases of theft and domestic violence. The medical consequences of alcohol abuse include liver disease and pancreatitis; contributions to cardiovascular disease; and immune, reproductive, and endocrine malfunctions. The cost of these social and medical problems approaches $100 billion each year in the United States alone. Alcohol, although a legal substance, nevertheless is the number one drug of abuse.


Fatty Acid Composition Essential Fatty Acid Alcoholic Liver Disease Alcohol Exposure Liquid Diet 
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 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norman SalemJr.
  • Nils Urban Olsson

There are no affiliations available

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