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I read that one of the ways alcohol is carcinogenic is via accelerated mitosis due to acetaldehyde, I was wondering what pathway caused this acceleration?

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Can you please post where you read this? –  Chris Jan 10 '14 at 19:32
I think I was incorrect, can you piece it together for me? This says that alcohol causes cancer from accelerated mitosis:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcinogenesis#Non-mutagenic_carcinogens And then when I looked up how alcohol causes cancer, webpages referenced acetaldehyde. –  Anthony Jan 10 '14 at 19:47
The wikipedia just states this without giving any source. I will look into it... –  Chris Jan 10 '14 at 22:19

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

First of all Alcohol and Acetaldehyde are both cytotoxic. Along in our development we learned to deal with both substances, which is shown by specific metabolism pathways to break them down (for example alcohol dehydrogenase, acetaldehyde dehydrogenase, Cytochrom P450 and so on).

Alcohol and Acetaldehyde both have a negative effect on mitosis (which explains a good part of the negative effect which alcohol has on developing embryos). Examples can be the following articles:

Alcohol also has some effect on cancer - probably not by directly causing it, but at least as an additional risk factor. One article I found ("Alcohol and Cancer") mentions the following possibilities:

The mechanisms by which alcohol consumption exerts its carcinogenic effect have not been defined fully, although plausible events include: a genotoxic effect of acetaldehyde, the main metabolite of ethanol; increased oestrogen concentration, which is important for breast carcinogenesis; a role as solvent for tobacco carcinogens; production of reactive oxygen species and nitrogen species; and changes in folate metabolism.

Using Pubmed you can find more articles on that topic.

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