Vitamins For Alcoholics 
What are the Best ?

Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited : November 16, 
| 4 Sources

Preventing Malnutrition

Prevent alcohol-related illnesses while drinking, and aid during recovery

Taking vitamins for alcoholics is important after getting sober; it is time to replace the nutrients lost from the alcohol addiction. Taking vitamins for alcoholics daily when one drinks helps prevent several alcohol-specific illnesses and can help aid in recovery when that time comes.

Loving an Addict

Loving an addict is hard. From the outside, we see them harming themselves. Sometimes, however, they do not always realize that they are harming themselves.

Those who do realize they are hurting themselves often do it for that very reason. By doing one small thing – taking vitamins for alcoholics every day – you can help yourself or a loved one stay healthier.

Part of the reason that alcohol is so dangerous is that it tends to replace meals and, thus, the nutrients in that food. Hence, malnutrition is common among chronic alcoholics.

The alcoholic has more nutritional needs because of greater metabolic demands and more need for tissue repair. Making sure an alcoholic has access to vitamins daily, can help them maintain a certain level of health.

Many alcoholics come out of their addiction sick and unable to care for themselves, and at least some of what they experience is preventable.

Vitamins for Alcoholics

While multivitamins are a good option, there are a few leading families of vitamins that alcoholics are prone to missing out on. Lack of some vitamins, B vitamins specifically, over an extended period can lead to several different brain diseases.

Long term alcoholics tend to develop Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome almost exclusively and this, as well as other brain diseases, are caused by a lack of whole grains and meat among other major food contributors

. Vitamin B can be found in milk, salads, and many other places but, if a person is not eating a decent meal at least once a day, they miss out on the benefits from food that most of us take for granted.

Moreover, chronic drinkers are usually deficient in B vitamins including folate, thiamin, B-6, and B-12 due to the toxic effects of alcohol on the mucosa that interfere with normal absorption.

vitamins for alcoholics

Vitamin A is another family of vitamins from which alcoholics can benefit. The problem with vitamin A is that it is taken into the body through absorption by the stomach and intestines.

  • When it is absorbed improperly, issues of eyesight - and we are talking about certain kinds of blindness, can arise quickly and be permanent. 
  • Vitamin A is difficult for alcoholics to absorb because the alcohol is absorbed first and this overloads their gut.

The third most troublesome deficiency comes in the form of vitamin D. Low serum vitamin D amounts are common in alcoholics.

  • Vitamin D is created by our bodies naturally, but in order to process it and put it to proper use, it must be metabolized by our liver and kidneys.
  •  Alcohol tends to overload these organs as well, and they cannot utilize what they are given.

Because of these complications, it can be hard to know what supplements to take. Multivitamins for alcoholics should at least include potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, vitamin B, vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin C. Because alcohol can cover up the symptoms of vitamin deficiency, it often goes unnoticed and unrecognized, so daily vitamins are essential to maintain as much health as possible.

An excellent daily multivitamin is from Vimerson Health. They make a women’s multivitamin and a men’s version. You should check with your doctor, though, to find the best choice based on your health.

So, if our bodies are being overloaded by trying to absorb the alcohol and they will not absorb these, why take them?

Besides the fact that the body is not getting the chance to try to absorb them from food, supplementing will help boost any levels of vitamins that are making it in and, the higher the levels of vitamin intake, the more likely the body is to absorb at least some of the vitamins for alcoholics.


The Facts

The National Institute of Health says:

  • Vitamins are essential to maintaining growth and normal metabolism because they regulate many physiological processes. Chronic heavy drinking is associated with deficiencies in many vitamins because of decreased food ingestion and, in some cases, impaired absorption, metabolism, and utilization.
  •  For example, alcohol inhibits fat absorption and thereby impairs absorption of the vitamins A, E, and D that are normally absorbed along with dietary fats. Vitamin A deficiency can be associated with night blindness, and vitamin D deficiency is associated with softening of the bones.

They did touch on a few things that we already covered; however, they bring up another essential vitamin, vitamin E. According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Library, vitamin E is what helps prevent blood from becoming too concentrated or from forming clots. Vitamin E deficiencies are extremely rare in the general population (less than 1 in 1 million). Among alcoholics, however, the rate of absorption for vitamin E was 62% less than in otherwise healthy adults tested.

Moreover, what does all that mean, exactly?

  • That means that chronic drinkers are 62% more likely than the rest of the population to form a blood clot randomly. 
  • Blood clots can lead to death. Sometimes they form and then break up on their own, and no one even knows they were there. The rest of the time, however, they can form in the brain, heart, or lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism, which can lead to death.
  • Many blood clots form in a leg. These are known as deep vein thromboses (DVT) and, when they break free, they become pulmonary embolisms or heart attacks because they travel, in chunks, through the body and get stuck wherever the veins and arteries begin to narrow or where they can pile up against a valve.

 Thus, the possibility of such a catastrophic event should caution any person whom drinks excessively to seek help and work to stop. 

A loved one may have already experienced a DVT that was mild and passed without incident. However, if anyone notices these symptoms, the Mayo Clinic suggests that they contact a doctor:

  • Swelling in one leg (there can be swelling in both, but it is rare)
  • Pain in the calf – this most likely will feel like a cramp
  • A red area or other discoloration of the skin on the leg, especially around where the soreness is if present
  • Skin is warm to the touch or feels hot from the inside

They suggest one seeks immediate medical attention if they have any of the following as they can be signs of a progressed DVT into a pulmonary embolism:

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or discomfort that worsens with a deep breath or cough
  • Coughing up blood
  • Lightheadedness, fainting, or dizziness 
  • Rapid pulse

Alcoholism is a hard and unforgiving disease. One of the hardest parts of the disease is that is creates a state of malnutrition as the alcoholic replaces meals with beer and liquor. Vitamins for alcoholics are essential to aid in healing the body.

They also help with absorption, digestion, providing nutrients that are important in order to survive, and essentially act as a way to provide the substance food would otherwise provide someone who drinks excessively in place of meals.

Moreover, those who drink in excess are more likely to face life changing or threatening diseases as a symptom of their malnutrition. Thus, it is important for an alcoholic, no matter what stage of the recovery process they are in to use vitamins.

And more importantly, it is imperative for any alcoholic to seek help for their problem now.

If you or someone close to you wants help and advice on quitting drinking then take a look at the following pages:

"If at any point you're struggling with your sobriety, speak to one of our supportive counselors. With many having first-hand experience, they have been in your shoes. The free chat is confidential & they are available 24/7."

Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl

Licensed Medical Health Professional 


I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More

Vitamins for Alcoholics


Psychiatry Investigation. Psychiatric Implications of Nutritional Deficiencies in Alcoholism. 2005.

Oxford Academic. Alcoholic Myopathy: Vitamin D Deficiency is Related to Muscle Fibre Atrophy in a Murine Model. February 26, 2010.

PubMed. Nutrition and vitamins in alcoholism.

Psychology Today. Some Vitamins and Minerals May Reduce Alcohol Toxicity. Jan 29, 2019.

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