Alcohol depletes and inhibits the absorption of vital nutrients, including vitamins. This makes an alcoholic more likely to suffer from one or more vitamin deficiencies. Alcoholics are more likely to consume an unhealthy diet, which exacerbates vitamin deficiencies. Alcohol tends to affect the absorption of all vitamins, but particularly vitamin B12, which depletes even with moderate alcohol use. Certain vitamins are vital to repairing and building cells required for bodily functions.
What an Alcoholic Needs
A chronic alcoholic should consult a doctor for treatment. An alcoholic may be deficient in vitamins A, C, E, K and the B vitamins, as well as the minerals calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, a doctor may prescribe vitamin B1 supplements to prevent Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, which is a serious illness induced by vitamin B1 or thiamine deficiency. An alcoholic may also be prescribed a B-vitamin complex or a vitamin B12 supplement. If you are vitamin A deficient, it is important that you take a supplement under the care of a physician, as high doses can lead to liver disease.