Alcoholics often make poor food choices and don't eat as much as they should, according to MedlinePlus. This can lead to vitamin deficiencies. Alcoholism can also interfere with the absorption of some nutrients, increasing the amount that alcoholics need to consume to meet their daily needs. If you regularly consume more than one or two drinks per day, speak with your doctor to see if you should take vitamin supplements.
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Between 30 percent and 80 percent of alcoholics don't get enough thiamine, according to MedlinePlus. Thiamine supplementation can help prevent a severe form of deficiency called Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Alcoholics often are deficient in other B vitamins as well, including folate and vitamin B-12, so a B-complex supplement may be a better choice than individual B-vitamin supplements. Levels of antioxidant vitamins can sometimes be low in alcoholics, due to either poor dietary choices, in the case of vitamin C, or decreased absorption and storage in the body due to liver damage and increased excretion of fat, in the case of the fat-soluble vitamins A and E.
- MedlinePlus: Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Alcoholism
- MedlinePlus: Thiamine
- Alcohol and Alcoholism: Antioxidant Vitamins and Brain Dysfunction in Alcoholics
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin C
- European Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Effects of Moderate Alcohol Consumption on Folate and Vitamin B12 Status in Postmenopausal Women
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Alcohol and Nutrition