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Alchoholics have low Calcium and low Vitamin D, increasing Vit D might help – Nov 2016

Association of plasma calcium concentrations with alcohol craving: New data on potential pathways.

Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2016 Nov 24. pii: S0924-977X(16)31982-4. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2016.11.007. [Epub ahead of print]
Schuster R1, Koopmann A2, Grosshans M2, Reinhard I3, Spanagel R4, Kiefer F2.

  • 1Department of Addictive Behavior and Addiction Medicine, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim/Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany. Electronic address: rilana.schuster at zi-mannheim.de.
  • 2Dept of Addictive Behavior and Addiction Medicine, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim/Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany.
  • 3Department of Biostatistics, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University of Heidelberg, Mannheim, Germany.
  • 4Institute of Psychopharmacology, Central Institute of Mental Health, University of Heidelberg, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Germany.

Recently, calcium was suggested to be the active moiety of acamprosate. We examined plasma calcium concentrations in association with severity of alcohol dependence and its interaction with regulating pathways and alcohol craving in alcohol-dependent patients. 47 inpatient alcohol-dependent patients undergoing detoxification treatment underwent laboratory testing, including calcium, sodium, liver enzymes as well as serum concentrations of calcitonin, parathyroid hormone and vitamin D. The psychometric dimension of craving was analyzed with the Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS). The severity of withdrawal was measured with the Alcohol Dependence Scale (ADS) and with the Alcohol Dependence Scale for high-risk sample (ADS-HR).
The main findings of our investigation are:

  • a) a negative correlation of plasma calcium concentrations with alcohol craving in different dimensions of the OCDS;
  • b) a negative correlation of plasma calcium concentrations with breath alcohol concentration;
  • c) lowered calcitonin concentration in the high-risk sample of alcoholics;
  • d) lowered plasma vitamin D concentrations in all alcoholic subjects.

Our study adds further support for lowered plasma calcium concentrations in patients with high alcohol intake and especially in patients with increased craving as a risk factor for relapse. Lowered calcitonin concentrations in the high-risk sample and lowered vitamin D concentrations may mediate these effects. Calcium supplementation could be a useful intervention for decreasing craving and relapse in alcohol-dependent subjects.

Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

PMID: 27890540 DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2016.11.007

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