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The Role of Innate Immunity in Alcoholic Liver Disease

Heavy consumption of alcohol poses a well-known health risk worldwide. Alcohol’s effects on health and well-being are numerous and include injuries and fatalities resulting from alcohol-induced incapacitation. Moreover, chronic and heavy alcohol consumption affects the integrity and function of vital tissues and organs, causing slow but significant structural and functional damage over time. One...

Macrophages and Alcohol-Related Liver Inflammation

Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is a complex disease that affects millions of people worldwide and eventually can lead to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer (i.e., hepatocellular carcinoma). Aside from the direct cytotoxic and the oxidative-stress–mediated effects that alcohol and its metabolite, acetaldehyde, exert on hepatocytes, alcohol ingestion activates both the innate and adaptive immune...

Hepatic Cannabinoid Signaling in the Regulation of Alcohol-Associated Liver Disease

Introduction

The prevalence of alcohol use disorder has been steadily rising around the world in recent years, and reducing the burden of alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD) caused by chronic alcohol consumption has become one of the most important global health issues.1,2 Excessive alcohol drinking (more than 40 g of pure alcohol per day) is closely associated with increased risk of all...

Alcoholic Liver Disease: Pathogenesis and Current Management

Excessive alcohol consumption is a global healthcare problem. The liver sustains the greatest degree of tissue injury by heavy drinking because it is the primary site of ethanol metabolism. Chronic and excessive alcohol consumption produces a wide spectrum of hepatic lesions, the most characteristic of which are steatosis, hepatitis, and fibrosis/cirrhosis. Steatosis is the earliest response to...

Epigenetic Events in Liver Cancer Resulting From Alcoholic Liver Disease

The molecular pathogenesis of liver cancer (i.e., hepatocellular carcinoma [HCC]) is a multistep process that involves both genetic changes, such as chromosomal abnormalities and mutations of the DNA sequence (i.e., somatic mutations), and epigenetic mechanisms, such as chemical modifications of the DNA and the histone proteins around which the DNA is wrapped to form the chromosomes, microRNA...

Alcohol and Viral Hepatitis: Role of Lipid Rafts

Alcohol is the most used and abused psychoactive drug worldwide. Alcohol use and misuse, including alcohol use disorder, can have devastating effects and account for 5.9 percent of deaths and 5.1 percent of the global burden of disease and injury, thereby also imposing a significant social and economic burden on society (World Health Organization 2015). Moreover, treatments for alcohol abuse...

The Gastrointestinal Microbiome: Alcohol Effects on the Composition of Intestinal Microbiota

It has been estimated that approximately 2 billion people worldwide drink alcohol on a daily basis, with more than 70 million people having a diagnosed alcohol use disorder (World Health Organization 2004). Globally, alcohol use is the fifth leading risk factor for premature death and disability among people between the ages of 15 and 49 (Lim et al. 2012). Excessive alcohol consumption in the...

Alcohol and the Immune System - Editor's Note

Clinicians have long observed an association between excessive alcohol consumption and adverse immune-related health effects such as susceptibility to pneumonia. In recent decades, this association has been expanded to a greater likelihood of acute respiratory stress syndromes (ARDS), sepsis, alcoholic liver disease (ALD), and certain cancers; a higher incidence of postoperative complications...

Natural Recovery by the Liver and Other Organs After Chronic Alcohol Use

Introduction

A vast body of evidence from human studies and animal research clearly indicates that chronic, heavy alcohol consumption causes structural damage and/or disrupts normal organ function in virtually every tissue of the body. In heavy consumers of alcohol, the liver is especially susceptible to alcohol-induced injury.1,2 Additionally, several other organs—including the...

Development, Prevention, and Treatment of Alcohol-Induced Organ Injury: The Role of Nutrition

Alcohol and nutrition have the potential to interact at multiple levels. For example, heavy alcohol consumption can interfere with normal nutrition, resulting in overall malnutrition or in deficiencies of important micronutrients, such as zinc, by reducing their absorption or increasing their loss. Interactions between alcohol consumption and nutrition also can affect epigenetic regulation of gene...