Alcohol Toxicity in Diabetes and Its Complications: A Double Trouble?

Srikar Munukutla, Guodong Pan, Mandar Deshpande, Rajarajan A. Thandavarayan, Prasanna Krishnamurthy, Suresh S. Palaniyandi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Eight percent of the U.S. population has been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus (DM), while another large percentage has gone undiagnosed. As the epidemiology of this disease constitutes a larger percentage of the American population, another factor presents a dangerous dilemma that can exacerbate the hazardous effects imposed by DM. Excessive alcohol consumption concerns the health of more than 50% of all adults. When this heavy-alcohol-drinking population overlaps with DM and its complications, the effects can be dangerous. In this review, we term it as "double trouble." Methods: We provide evidence of alcohol-induced exacerbation of organ damage in diabetic conditions. In certain cases, we have explained how diabetes and alcohol induce similar pathological effects. Results: Known exacerbated complications include those related to heart diseases, liver damage, kidney dysfunction, as well as retinal and neurological impairment. Often, pathophysiological damage concludes with end-stage disorders and even mortality. The metabolic, cell signaling, and pathophysiological changes associated with "double trouble" would lead to the identification of novel therapeutic targets. Conclusions: This review summarizes the epidemiology, diagnosis, pathophysiology, metabolic, and cell signaling alterations and finally brushes upon issues and strategies to manage the "double trouble".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-697
Number of pages12
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Alcohol Toxicity
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase
  • Cell Signaling
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Epidemiology
  • Mitochondrial Dysfunction
  • Pathophysiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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