Author(s): Sarin SK, Dhingra N, Bansal A, Malhotra S, Guptan RC
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To document the profile and role of malnutrition in alcoholic hepatitis, compared with chronic alcoholics and nonalcoholic chronic liver disease. METHODS: To this end, we studied 67 patients with alcoholic liver disease (ALD) (group I), 52 chronic alcoholics without histological evidence of liver disease (group II), 44 nonalcoholic cirrhotics (group III), and 52 healthy controls (group IV). Alcoholic and nonalcoholic calories were calculated and percentage dietary and nutritional deficiencies computed. Anthropometric indices, nitrogen balance, and immune status of the patients were assessed. RESULTS: Alcohol constituted about 48\% of daily caloric intake in patients with ALD. The percentage mean intake of carbohydrate, protein, and energy was decreased in all three study groups compared with controls. The deficiencies were more pronounced in patients with severe than with moderate ALD. These deficiencies were more severe in the group III patients. Whereas body fat stores were maintained in groups I and II, reduction in lean body mass and serum transferrin was significant in patients in groups I and III. In group II patients compared to group I patients, the body mass index (19.9 +/- 4.0 vs. 22.3 +/- 3.4) and triceps skinfold thickness (6.1 +/- 4.8 vs. 10.2 +/- 5.6 mm) were significantly lower. CONCLUSIONS: 1) protein energy malnutrition is common in both alcoholic and nonalcoholic cirrhotics, but is more pronounced in the latter; 2) the degree and profile of malnutrition in chronic alcoholics and in alcoholic cirrhotics are comparable; 3) based on our results, we hypothesize that malnutrition may not play a primary role in the pathogenesis of ALD.
This article was published in Am J Gastroenterol
and referenced in Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences