IMR Press / FBL / Volume 7 / Issue 5 / DOI: 10.2741/quintela

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Alcohol-induced alterations in serum immunoglobulin e (IgE) levels in human subjects
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1 Department of Internal Medicine, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
2 Allergy Unit, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
3 Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Complejo Hospitalario Universitario, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2002, 7(5), 234–244;
Published: 1 May 2002

The association of alcohol intake with total serum IgE concentrations in humans is discussed in the present review. The possible relationship of regular alcohol intake with both the risk of allergic sensitization and serum allergen-specific IgE values is also reviewed. Several studies consistently show that total serum IgE concentrations are increased in alcoholics when compared with healthy controls. Total serum IgE levels decrease after ethanol abstinence in alcoholics. Total serum IgE is increased in moderate alcohol consumers with respect to abstainers. Alcohol consumption in mothers may be associated with increased cord blood IgE levels in their offspring. IgE elevation in alcohol consumers is independent of potential confounders such as age, sex, liver disease, cigarette smoking or atopic status. Experimental studies in animals further support that ethanol administration is followed by an increase in serum IgE concentrations. In atopic patients, regular alcohol consumption is associated with increased serum specific IgE levels against some aeroallergens. Preliminary reports suggest that alcohol intake is associated to variable risk of sensitization to some aeroallergens. The possible mechanisms of alcohol-induced alterations in IgE levels and IgE-mediated diseases are discussed.

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