Alcohol effects on embryonal bone growth

  • SS Adebisi
Keywords: Alcohol, Bone, Folic acid


Background:The possible teratogenic and lethal potencies of ethanol on the developing foetal bones especially when ingested during pregnancy is now well established; but the actual mechanisms of these actions are yet elusive and this had since stimulated unending interests and numerous researches particularly in the field of teratology. Are there yet any other possible mediators / agents to be implicated in the potentiation of ethanol toxicity? Are they existing or would there be possible solutions for assaults of alcohol abuse?

Methods: A retrospective and contemporary literature compilation was done in an attempt to further explore this subject and bring out more detailed information useful to answering these and other such lingering questions.

Results: The incidence of congenital bone malformations associated with maternal consumption of ethanol during conception are now recognised to be due to its toxic effects on the developing tissues and impairment of normal cellular activities particularly by depriving them of essential vitamins such as folic acid, a useful precursor for the synthesis of proteins and DNA.

Conclusion: This is a situation where the most successful preventive measures could possibly be instituted, with folic acid supplementation, to alleviate ethanol toxicity, if total abstinence is not possible.

Nigerian Journal of Surgical Research Vol. 7(1&2) 2005: 152-158

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eISSN: 1595-1103