Liver and Alcohol

Alcohol is metabolised by the liver to form products that may be toxic to the hepatocytes

  • Alcohol consumption also reduces cellular antioxidant activity, reducing the liver’s capacity for detoxification

Over time, healthy liver cells are replaced by damaged cells, which reduces the livers ability to:

  • Metabolise the body’s supply of carbohydrates, fats and proteins
  • Produce bile and recycle red blood cells
  • Transport materials around the body (blood flow becomes blocked to and from the liver)

Long term alcohol abuse will result in three primary effects upon the liver:

  • Inflammation – swelling of damaged liver tissue causes the liver to become enlarged
  • Fat accumulation – there is a build up of fatty deposits in place of normal tissue, blocking blood flow
  • Cirrhosis – Scar tissue is created by the deposition of collagen where tissue is damaged 

Stages of Liver Damage from Excessive Alcohol Consumption

liver damage