AIM: To investigate the antioxidative status of patients with alcoholic liver disease (ALD) in southeastern Taiwan. METHODS: Our study comprised 27 patients with ALD recruited from Taitung Mackay Memorial Hospital, located in southeastern Taiwan. Patients with ALD included 12 non-aborigines (12 men) and 15 aborigines (11 men and 4 women). According to the severity of ALD, patients with ALD included 10 with hepatitis (9 men and 1 woman) and 17 with cirrhosis (14 men and 3 women). Twenty-two age- and gender-matched healthy adults served as the control group in this study. Venous blood (10 mL) of each subject was drawn into EDTA-containing tubes after 8 h overnight fasting. RESULTS: Compared to the control group, patients with ALD showed significantly lower erythrocytic catalase (11.1 ± 0.7 U/mg Hb vs 8.0 ± 0.7 U/mg Hb, P <0.05) and superoxide dismutase (9.5 ± 1.6 U/mg Hb vs 3.0 ± 0.2 U/mg Hb, P <0.05) activities. Furthermore, the erythrocytic reduced glutathione/oxidized glutathione ratio was significantly lower in ALD patients than that in the control group (38.1 ± 5.4 vs 15.7 ± 1.9, P <0.05). The results revealed that patients with ALD experienced more oxidative stress than those in the control group. The non-aboriginal, but not the aboriginal, ALD group had higher erythrocytic glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activity than that in the control group (46.1 ± 7.8 U/g Hb vs 27.9 ± 2.2 U/g Hb, P <0.05). Hepatitis, but not cirrhosis, ALD patients had higher erythrocytic GPX activity than that in the control group (44.3 ± 8.6 U/g Hb vs 27.9 ± 2.2 U/g Hb, P <0.05). CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that both ethnicity and the severity of ALD may cause different erythrocytic antioxidative enzyme activities especially GPX activity.
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