We have previously produced a robust model of ethanol addiction in rats using a high-fat, alcohol-containing diet. Substitution of carbohydrate for fat in this diet greatly ameliorated the deleterious effect of alcohol, particularly the accompanying fatty liver. In the present study, we examined the role of certain antioxidants when added to the addictive, high-fat, alcohol-containing diet. Antioxidants such as vitamin E, diphenyl-para-phenylenediamine, and selenium, as well as cranberry powder and soy protein have been shown to prevent oxidative stress that can lead to cell death. The liver is particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress because of excessive fat accumulation subsequent to insults such as high-fat diets and/or alcohol abuse. Because caffeine has been shown to reduce body fat accumulation in mice, this drug was also included in some experiments, either combined with or separate from antioxidant-enriched diets. It was observed that high doses of vitamin E and of selenium significantly increased liver fat accumulation in rats fed the alcohol-containing diet. Diphenyl-para-phenylenediamine combined with caffeine significantly reduced liver fat accumulation. Neither soy protein nor cranberry powder exerted significant effects on the alcohol-induced fatty liver. These observations indicate that high doses of vitamin E and selenium may be deleterious to liver function especially in the presence of high-fat diets and/or alcohol consumption.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Liver fat
- Vitamin E