february 2024

Is There a Safe Alcohol Consumption Limit for the General Population and in Patients with Liver Disease?

Excessive alcohol consumption represents an important burden for health systems worldwide and is a major cause of liver- and cancer-related deaths. Alcohol consumption is mostly assessed by self-report that often underestimates the amount of drinking. While alcohol use disorders identification test – version C is the most widely used test for alcohol use screening, in patients with liver disease the use of alcohol biomarker could help an objective assessment. The amount of alcohol that leads to significant liver disease depends on gender, genetic background, and coexistence of comorbidities (i.e., metabolic syndrome factors). All patients with alcohol-associated liver disease are recommended to follow complete abstinence and they should be treated within multidisciplinary teams. Abstinence slows down and even reverses the progression of liver fibrosis and can help recompensate patients with complicated cirrhosis. Whether there is a safe amount of alcohol in the general population is a matter of intense debate. Large epidemiological studies showed that the safe amount of alcohol to avoid overall health-related risks is lower than expected even in the general population. Even one drink per day can increase cancer-related death. In patients with any kind of chronic liver disease, especially in those with metabolic-associated steatotic liver disease, no alcohol intake is recommended. This review article discusses the current evidence supporting the deleterious effects of small-to-moderate amounts of alcohol in the general population and in patients with underlying chronic liver disease.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Romero-Gomez M.; Arab J. P.; Oliveira C. P.; Hernandez M.; Arrese M.; Cortez-Pinto H.; Bataller R.
  • Issue

    Periodical: Semin Liver Dis - Volume: 44 - Number: 1 - Edition: 20240404
  • Published Date

    february 2024