Published online Jan 7, 2016. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i1.37
Peer-review started: April 24, 2015
First decision: June 2, 2015
Revised: June 25, 2015
Accepted: September 2, 2015
Article in press: September 2, 2015
Published online: January 7, 2016
Core tip: The metabolic process of ethanol generates reactive oxygen species, which play a significant role in the deterioration of alcoholic liver disease (ALD). Antioxidant phytochemicals, such as polyphenols, upregulate the expression of antioxidant enzymes and peptides via the Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1-NF-E2-related factor-2 pathway, which leads to antioxidant responsive elements in animal models. Furthermore, these antioxidants alleviate cell injury caused by oxidants or inflammatory cytokines via impairment of hyperactivation of mitogen-activating protein kinase pathways, similar to preconditioning in ischemia-reperfusion models. Although the relationship between plant antioxidants and ALD has not been adequately investigated, plant antioxidants may be preventive for ALD.