Trace Elements Profile among Alcohol Abusers in a Nigerian Community|
Stanley, P.C.; Okeke, E. & Ukoli, C.
Alcohol abuse has been associated with Trace elements deficiencies which have been known to
cause Neuro Psychiatric Disorders. The focus of this study being on locally brewed alcohol is to establish the
pattern if any of trace elements derangements. The trace element profile among alcohol abusers in a Nigerian
Community was analysed using the 4 – item CAGE instrument to separate alcohol abusers, social drinkers, and
total abstainers. The Royal College of Physicians’ criteria 1987 for Alcohol abuse was also used to validate the
CAGE score. Using the CAGE score, the following results were obtained, 50 Alcohol abusers (AOA), 47 Social
Drinkers (SOD) and 45 Total Abstainers (TOA) emerged out of 162 subjects. Mean values obtained for
Manganese (Mn), Zinc (Zn), Iron (Fe) and Copper (Cu) were 0.17 nmol/L, 9.03 umol/L, 27.46 umol/L and 25.44
umol/L respectively. This showed that Mn, Fe and Cu were significantly increased while Zn was reduced
significantly in alcohol abusers when compared with the control group of total abstainers. Excessive consumption
of burukutu seems to significantly alter the trace elements status in abusers. Duration of intake and excessive use
of burukutu can be associated with both deficiency and toxicity of essential and heavy metals. Abstinence
therefore should continue to be the main stay of counseling.