Ethanol, immune responses, and murine AIDS: The role of vitamin E as an immunostimulant and antioxidant

Yuejian Wang, Ronald R. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Excessive alcohol consumption is a major health problem in the United States. Prolonged consumption of alcohol results in alterations of immune responses, ultimately manifested by increasing susceptibility to infectious agents. Such changes can be due to the direct effects of alcohol or its metabolites on immune cells, as well as to nutritional deficiency, oxidative stress, and neutrophil dysfunctions. This ETOH-induced immunosuppression could be a potential cofactor in the progression to AIDS. As vitamin E supplementation has been associated with enhancement of immune response and improvement of host defense, it may provide a useful therapeutic approach for treatment of alcoholics to improve host defense. This article is a review of alcohol-related immunosuppression as a possible cofactor in the development of AIDS, and vitamin E-related immunoenhancing roles in animals and humans, showing why vitamin E supplementation could be used as a useful adjunct agent in alcoholics' treatment. Since there is little information available regarding nutritional therapy with alcohol users, our purpose is to provide evidence from animal models of the potential therapeutic role of vitamin E supplementation in the treatment of alcoholics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-84
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1994


  • Alcohol
  • Immune response
  • Murine AIDS
  • Neutrophil
  • Nutritional status
  • Oxidative stress
  • Vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Neurology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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