Background: Although it is generally accepted that there is an increased oxidative stress status in alcoholics, the separate relevance of oxidative stress following alcohol withdrawal is still not understood to this date. There are reports stating that the increased oxidative stress status in alcoholics may persist independently of the constant presence of alcohol intake, while on the other side, it was demonstrated that the antioxidant defense mechanism could significantly increase after alcohol withdrawal.
Methods: In the present work, we were interested in studying the relevance of oxidative stress status in the alcohol withdrawal processes, by determining some oxidative stress markers (two antioxidant enzymes: superoxide dismutase - SOD and glutathione peroxidase - GPX and a lipid peroxidation maker - MDA) after one week and one month of abstinence, as compared to the baseline and a control group of subjects.
Results: Our data confirmed the increased oxidative stress status in alcoholic patients and, more importantly, we de m - onstrated here a significant decrease of the oxidative stress status one week and one month following the withdrawal, as showed by a significant increase in the specific activity of SOD (p<0.003), as well as by a decrease in MDA levels (p<0.019). Still, in the case of all three markers of oxidative stress status which we determined, the levels after one week or one month of abstinence were significantly altered when compared to controls.
Conclusions: This suggests that severe and prolonged deficiency in the oxidative stress marker levels needs longer than one month of abstinence to normalize.