50% of daily calorie allowance comes from alcohol
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Alcoholism is one of the major causes of nutritional deficiency in the United States.
Research has shown that at the height of their drinking, alcoholics often derive as much as 50 percent of their daily calorie allowance from alcohol itself, resulting in serious malnourishment. The most common deficiencies are B-vitamins, thiamine, and folic acid. A lack of these nutrients causes iron deficiency and neurological problems. Korsakoff’s syndrome (“wet brain”) occurs when heavy alcohol use causes a lack of enough thiamine.
Alcohol use also damages two major organs involved in metabolism and nutrition: the liver and the pancreas. The liver removes toxins and other harmful substances. The pancreas regulates blood sugar and the absorption of fat. Damage to these two organs results in an imbalance of fluids, calories, protein, and electrolytes.
Other complications include:
High blood pressure
Permanent liver damage (or cirrhosis)
Inability to process thoughts due to complications from cirrhosis
Shortened life expectancy
A diet rich in antioxidants, fiber and low in sugar, in addition to the recommended supplementation such as calcium and vitamin D supplements can have a significant effect on helping patient’s withdrawal from addiction while reducing symptoms.
At N.A.M.E.D. Program we have developed specifically designed menus for those undergoing substance abuse recovery.