Effects of vitamin C and E supplementation on oxidative stress and liver toxicity in rats fed a low-fat ethanol diet

  • Lee, Soo-Jung ;
  • Kim, Seon-Young ;
  • Min, Hyesun
  • Received : 2012.11.06
  • Accepted : 2013.02.20
  • Published : 2013.04.01


We compared the preventive capacity of high intakes of vitamin C (VC) and vitamin E (VE) on oxidative stress and liver toxicity in rats fed a low-fat ethanol diet. Thirty-two Wistar rats received the low fat (10% of total calories) Lieber-DeCarli liquid diet as follows: either ethanol alone (Alc group, 36% of total calories) or ethanol in combination with VC (Alc + VC group, 40 mg VC/100 g body weight) or VE (Alc + VE group, 0.8 mg VE/100 g body weight). Control rats were pair-fed a liquid diet with the Alc group. Ethanol administration induced a modest increase in alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), conjugated dienes (CD), and triglycerides but decreased total radical-trapping antioxidant potential (TRAP) in plasma. VE supplementation to alcohol-fed rats restored the plasma levels of AST, CD, and TRAP to control levels. However, VC supplementation did not significantly influence plasma ALT, AST, or CD. In addition, a significant increase in plasma aminothiols such as homocysteine and cysteine was observed in the Alc group, but cysteinylglycine and glutathione (GSH) did not change by ethanol feeding. Supplementing alcohol-fed rats with VC increased plasma GSH and hepatic S-adenosylmethionine, but plasma levels of aminothiols, except GSH, were not influenced by either VC or VE supplementation in ethanol-fed rats. These results indicate that a low-fat ethanol diet induces oxidative stress and consequent liver toxicity similar to a high-fat ethanol diet and that VE supplementation has a protective effect on ethanol-induced oxidative stress and liver toxicity.


Ethanol;low fat diet;vitamin E & C;oxidative stress;liver toxicity


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Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)