The present review summarizes the clinically relevant effects of acute and chronic alcohol consumption on motility, mucosal inflammation and cancer of the esophagus and the stomach. Alcohol consumption results in a significant increase in the morbidity of these two organs, the most important probably being the significant increase in the development of esophageal cancer. This review refers to epidemiologic and systematic experimental data to elucidate the clinical impact of alcohol consumption as well as the underlying alcohol-induced pathophysiologic mechanisms for these esophageal and gastric diseases. Much research is still needed to clarify the effects of alcohol itself and the byproducts that result during the production of the different types of alcoholic beverages on dismotility and mucosal injury to the esophagus and stomach.

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