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Alcohol: Nutrient and Poison

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Mayo Clinic;Rochester, Minnesota

Ann Intern Med. 1977;87(4):492-493. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-87-4-492
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Doctor Osler overstated the case when he said all problems would be solved by eliminating alcohol. Nonetheless alcoholism is perhaps the most costly disease with which the medical profession has to deal. Ethanol is a nutrient that when habitually taken in excess causes illness, disability, and death.

In a symposium, "Fermented Food Beverages in Nutrition," held at the Mayo Clinic from 15 to 17 June 1977, the Nutrition Foundation gathered experts from industry, biochemistry, nutrition, and medicine to review the biochemistry of fermentation, the nutrient value of wine and beer, and the physical, psychosocial, and nutritional problems associated with alcoholism.


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