The lipid content and acyl group composition of serum from a group of alcoholic patients at a VA Medical Center were compared to control subjects sampled either from University of Missouri personnel or from subjects who were undergoing a preemployment physical examination at the same VA Medical Center. Plasma of alcoholic patients indicated an elevated triacylglycerol level (24-35%) as compared to both control groups. In addition, the acyl groups of triacylglycerols of alcoholic patients showed a markedly lower proportion of 18:2 and a higher proportion of 18:0 and 18:1 as compared to the control groups. The level of phosphatidylcholines in the plasma of alcoholic patients was not different from controls. However, acyl group composition of phosphatidylcholines from alcoholics indicated a lower proportion of 22:6 (n-3) as compared to controls. Although the cholesteryl ester level in serum was higher in alcoholics than in controls, the difference did not reach a level of significance. There was a similar decrease in 18:2 and an increase in 18:0 in cholesteryl esters of alcoholics as compared to controls. Results indicate that alcoholics in the United States show a similar change in certain serum lipids as reported for the Swedish alcoholics. This study also shows the complexities involved in selecting appropriate control groups to be compared with alcoholic patients.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research project is supported in part by research grant AA06661 from NIAAA, the Medical Research Service of the Veterans Administration and the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center.
- Alcoholic patients
- Linoleic acid
- Serum lipids and acyl group composition