Alcohol dependence: A critical look at effects of alcohol metabolism

Anyanwu, E. and Watson, N. (1997). Alcohol dependence: A critical look at effects of alcohol metabolism. Reviews on Environmental Health, 12(3) pp. 201–213.



This paper explores the metabolic consequences of alcohol misuse and identifies the pathophysiological reasons why alcohol, no matter what quantity is taken regularly, is not beneficial for the normal functioning of most body systems. Although moderate ethanol consumption may reduce stress and the risk of coronary heart disease, ethanol also exerts a direct toxicological effect because it interferes with hepatic metabolism and immune functions. Liver transplantation may be necessary for end-stage liver disease in alcoholics. A causal effect between alcohol intake and several cancers has been reported. Both environmental and genetic factors are involved in the susceptibility to alcoholism. An explanation of alcohol dependence as a family disease is introduced to shed light on the magnitude of its collateral effects on the family and on the community as a whole. The adverse effects of alcohol on pregnant women and the fetus are also discussed. To provide awareness of the effectiveness of community efforts, we examined the possible intervention strategies and the role of community care in this regard.

Viewing alternatives

No digital document available to download for this item

Item Actions