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Detection and frequency of B and C vitamin deficiencies in alcohol-related diseases.

The activity of various enzymes and the vitamin C concentration of leukocytes were measured in a series of 35 patients with alcohol-related disease. The incidence of thiamine deficiency was 31%, as determined by transketolase activation, and 55%, as determined by pyruvate tolerance test. The incidence of riboflavin deficiency was 23% and ascorbic acid deficiency was 91%. No cases of pyridoxine deficiency were detected.

The pyruvate tolerance test proved to be a more sensitive test for thiamine deficiency than transketolase activation, and erythrocyte aspartate transaminase activation proved to be a poor indicator of pyridoxine deficiency. There was a poor correlation of γ-glutamyltransferase activity with the degree of vitamin deficiency, suggesting that alcohol exposure was only partially responsible for the observed vitamin deficiency.

Detection and Incidence of B and C Vitamin Deficiency in Alcohol-Related Illness.

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