Author: Gary Jackson

Nutritional Therapy for Alcohol Use Disorder

Veggies, fruits, fruit juices, nuts, beans, and peas naturally have folate. Alcohol and poor eating can stop your liver from releasing glucose into your blood. This can lead to low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia. When you drink too much, you’re more likely to eat foods that are high in added sugar, salt, and saturated fat. In a 2011 study, 20 participants recovering from AUD took a dietary supplement with D-phenylalanine, L-glutamine, and 5-HTP during detox.

Switch up your meals by eating a range of foods from the groups you need. Drink plenty of water during the day to keep yourself hydrated. Alcohol depletes and inhibits the absorption of vital nutrients, including vitamins. This makes a person with alcohol use disorder more likely to have one or more vitamin deficiencies. People with alcohol use disorder are more likely to have a less nutritious diet, which exacerbates vitamin deficiencies. Alcohol tends to affect the absorption of all vitamins, but particularly vitamin B12, which depletes even with moderate alcohol use.

What Are the Most Important Vitamins to Take for Alcohol Use Disorder?

The development of a nutritional plan for those in recovery involves planning out meals and determining an appropriate meal schedule that meshes with other activities in the treatment plan. This makes you less hungry for food, so there’s a higher chance you’ll skip meals or choose foods that are low in nutrients. It eases inflammation and protects the thin layer that surrounds your brain cells, called the cell membrane.

Heavy drinking makes it harder for your organs to work the way they’re supposed to, especially your stomach lining, pancreas, intestines, and liver. Loss of appetite is one of the signs of liver diseases like cirrhosis and alcoholic hepatitis. One 2019 study found that a significant portion of individuals with AUD admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) had vitamin C deficiency, with 42% being severely deficient. The research suggests that vitamin C supplementation, in addition to thiamine, should be considered for these individuals. However, people who misuse alcohol may eat less food and commonly have deficiencies in zinc, magnesium, selenium, protein, and certain vitamins.