Alcohol consumption and the gastrointestinal tract.Isr Med Assoc J. 2002 Mar; 4(3):200-2.IM
Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused drugs, with a per capita consumption of approximately 10 L pure ethanol per year in the United States and even higher in Spain and France. In terms of mortality, the effect of alcohol on the liver and the pancreas is probably more significant than on the tubular gastrointestinal tract. However, alcohol is a very important cause of morbidity in the tubular gastrointestinal tract. Alcohol influences the motility in the esophagus, stomach and small bowel and has direct effects on the mucosa of the upper tract. While the stimulation of gastric acid secretion is inversely correlated with the alcohol concentration of the beverage, a direct pathogenetic role in peptic ulcer disease has not been demonstrated. Some alcohols, like red wine, have been shown to possess an anti-Helicobacter pylori effect. Alcohol also has a role in the development of tumors of the gastrointestinal tract.