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

2 studies on this page

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
Schuster R1, Koopmann A2, Grosshans M2, Reinhard I3, Spanagel R4, Kiefer F2.

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  • 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.

Vitamin D and alcohol: A review of the current literature - 2017

Psychiatry Research, Volume 248, February 2017, Pages 83-86
V. Tardelli, Mariana Pimentel Pádua do Lago, +1 author T. Fidalgo

Vitamin D is associated with bone mineral density, and its deficiency is a global health problem. In psychiatry, low vitamin D levels have been associated with schizophrenia, depression, psychotic symptoms, and, more recently, alcohol use disorders. Alcohol use disorders are among the most prevalent mental disorders worldwide. Therefore, our aim was to evaluate the association between alcohol use and vitamin D serum levels. The PubMed, SCIELO, and Lilacs databases were searched for this systematic review. We assessed all articles published from 1976 to December 2015, and we examined the associated reference lists to retrieve articles that appeared to fulfill our criteria. Of 932 articles, 49 met our inclusion criteria. The majority of the papers (71.4%) were cross-sectional studies.
Alcohol intake was found to be

  • positively associated with vitamin D status in 15 articles and
  • negatively associated with vitamin D in 18 articles;
  • no association was found in 16 articles.

Heterogeneous results were found in our review, with a similar number of papers indicating a positive association, a negative association or the absence of any association between alcohol use and vitamin D levels. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the studies in which a positive association was found were more recent papers that involved considerably larger sample sizes than those in other studies. The older studies compared vitamin D levels in alcoholic and non-alcoholic patients, in contrast to more recent studies, which focused on more specific populations. In addition, most of the selected papers were from high latitude countries, where exposure to sunlight tends to be lower than in tropical countries.
The data concerning vitamin D levels in patients with alcohol use disorders remain controversial.
Additional research using a standardized methodology is necessary to demonstrate the real impact of alcohol consumption on vitamin D serum levels as well as on the health status of alcohol users.

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