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Minerva Medica 2020 August;111(4):344-53

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4806.20.06584-2


lingua: Inglese

Critical review on the use and abuse of alcohol. When the dose makes the difference

Rosa DI SARNO 1, Annalisa BRIGIDA 1, Giuseppe G. CAPRIO 1, Davide CIARDIELLO 1, Marcello DALLIO 1 , Moris SANGINETO 2, Sharmila FAGOONEE 3, Ludovico ABENAVOLI 4, Francesco LUZZA 4, Antonietta G. GRAVINA 1, Laura DE MAGISTRIS 1, Alessandro FEDERICO 1, Carmelina LOGUERCIO 1

1 Department of Precision Medicine, Luigi Vanvitelli University of Campania, Naples, Italy; 2 Department of Internal Medicine I, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria; 3 Institute of Biostructure and Bioimaging, National Research Council, Molecular Biotechnology Center, Turin, Italy; 4 Department of Health Sciences, University Magna Graecia, Catanzaro, Italy

Nowadays harmful alcohol consumption represents one of the most important risk factors for the development of several type of chronic and acute diseases in the western countries, contributing to a great number of deaths. Focusing the attention on cancer development and progression, the scientific community has a large consensus in declaring the existence of a harmful association between alcohol consumption and liver, breast, upper aerodigestive tract (mouth, oropharynx, hypopharynx, and esophagus), pancreas and colon cancer appearance. However the precise biological links by which the alcohol could be responsible for cancer initiation and progression are not fully understood yet, even if the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) indicated both ethanol and acetaldehyde as carcinogen for humans. The possible explanation of the effect exerted by ethanol and acetaldehyde could be related to direct genotoxicity, hormonal disturbance, triggering of oxidative stress and inflammation. In this review, we examine the relationship between alcohol dosage and associated diseases, with focus on alcohol-related cancers. Furthermore, to understand the potential molecular mechanisms of these diseases, the results of in vivo experiments on animal models were discussed.

KEY WORDS: Alcohol drinking; Neoplasms; Oxidative stress; Acetaldehyde

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