Inability of chronic alcoholics with liver disease to use food as a source of folates, thiamin and vitamin B 6

H. Baker, O. Frank, R. K. Zetterman, K. S. Rajan, W. ten Hove, C. M. Leevy

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Absorption of folates, thiamin, vitamin B 6, pantothenate and riboflavin from a natural food source - yeast - and their respective synthetic forms was studied in 36 patients with liver disease due to alcoholism, and 12 healthy, nonalcoholic subjects. All alcoholics absorbed riboflavin and pantothenate but had a significantly lowered absorption of thiamin and vitamin B 6 from yeast. Alcoholics absorbed synthetic vitamin B 6 but not thiamin. Ingested folylpolyglutamates (the predominant folates in yeast) could not serve as a source of folate for the alcoholics, but synthetic folylmonoglutamate served. It was suggested that the folate, vitamin B 6 and thiamin deficits so common in alcoholic liver disease ensue from inability to absorb these specific vitamins from foods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1377-1380
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1975


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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