Nutrition is a process that mainly performs two purposes in the body. These are providing energy and maintain body structure and function. Food gives energy and provides the building blocks needed to replace damaged cells and the nutritional components required for body function. Persons who are with alcohol often eat poorly, it effecting both energy supply and structure and maintenance and limiting their supply of necessary nutrients. Alcohol interferes with nutritional process by interfering digestion, storage, utilization and excretion of nutrients.
Alcohol Interference in Digestion and Utilization of Nutrient
If food is once ingested it must digest so that it will be available for energy and maintenance of body structure and function. The nutrients available from digested food are absorbed from the intestines into the blood circulation and passed it to the liver. The liver arranges nutrients either for immediate use or for future use.
Alcohol reduces the breakdown of nutrients into usable molecules. It done from the pancreas by decreasing the discharge of digestive enzymes. Alcohol interferes in nutrient absorption by reduces transport of some nutrients into the blood and damaging the lining of the stomach and intestines.
Additionally nutritional deficiencies may lead to more absorption problems. When consider folate its deficiency changes the cell lining of the small intestine, it impairs absorption of water and nutrients such as glucose, sodium and additional folate.
Even if digested nutrients are absorbed alcohol can reduce them from fully utilized by changing their transport, storage and excretion. Decreased vitamin A stores in liver and increased the amount of excretion of nutrients such as fat, indicate damage use of nutrients by alcoholics.
Alcohol and the Function of Cell Structure and Maintenance
Cells are made mostly by protein so adequate protein is important for maintaining cell structure otherwise might get damaged cells. Taking alcohol has an effect on protein nutrition by origin of impaired digestion of protein to amino acids.
Nutrients are important for proper body function. Protein, vitamins and minerals provide the tools that the body requires to perform properly. Alcohol can interrupt body function by causing nutrient deficiencies. Vitamins and certain mineral deficiencies may affect metabolism of the body.
Vitamins are needed by body to maintain growth and normal metabolism. Because they are manage many physiological processes. Chronic heavy drinking is closed with deficiencies in many vitamins because of reduce the food ingestion and in some cases impaired absorption, metabolism and utilization. Alcohol inhibits fat absorption of the fat directly and affect the absorption of fat soluble vitamins such as A, E and D. Therefore there is a possibility to develop the vitamins deficiencies such as vitamin A. It can cause night blindness softening of the bones, blood clothing and severe neurological damage.
Nutritional deficiencies can have severe and permanent effects on function of brain. Specially lack of thiamine frequently seen in alcoholics reason for severe neurological problems. They are memory loss and weak in movement.
Minerals are assume a major role in metabolism and included in most cellular activities. Alcohol consumption both chronic and acute has major effects on the absorption, elimination and serum concentrations of many physiologically important minerals and electrolytes including sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, and selenium electrolyte disturbances may lead to severe.
Nutritional Status of Alcoholics
The methods for assessing nutritional status include taking body measurements such as height of person, weight of kg and skin fold thickness to calculate approximately fat reserves and performing blood testing analyze to get measurements of vitamins, proteins and minerals. Status of dietary may give inferential data about the risk of developing nutritional shortage. Dietary static rank is evaluated by taking dietary histories of patients and types of food they are eating and calculating the amount of food.
The heaviest drinkers may have some detectable nutritional deficiencies but many alcoholics who are hospitalized in order for medical problem of alcoholism do experience severe malnutrition. Because of the alcoholics tend to eat poorly often eating less than the amounts of food essential to give plenty protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins A, B, C and minerals such as iron and calcium. Major concept is the alcohol’s effect on the food digestion and nutrients absorption may lead a mildly malnourished person toward severe malnutrition.