Alcohol and testosterone levels in men

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Q_Goest
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Does light drinking (2 glasses per day) in men alter testosterone levels? There seems to be quite a bit of research regarding the affect of alcohol on testosterone but most seems to be focused on heavy drinking which might reduce testosterone levels. On the other hand, light drinking might actually do the opposite. There's a paper I found entitled "http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12711931" [Broken]" Sarkola T, Eriksson CJ. Unfortunately, I can't access it. If someone can summarize what it says, that would be terrific. Also, what do the authors consider "low dose"? Is that equivalent to 2 glasses of beer or wine per day?
 
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Does light drinking (2 glasses per day) in men alter testosterone levels? There seems to be quite a bit of research regarding the affect of alcohol on testosterone but most seems to be focused on heavy drinking which might reduce testosterone levels. On the other hand, light drinking might actually do the opposite. There's a paper I found entitled "http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12711931" [Broken]" Sarkola T, Eriksson CJ. Unfortunately, I can't access it. If someone can summarize what it says, that would be terrific. Also, what do the authors consider "low dose"? Is that equivalent to 2 glasses of beer or wine per day?
my biochem is pretty poor, but i will give it a shot. they say alcohol causes an increase in the ratio of NADH to NAD+ in the liver. meanwhile, there is an equilibrium reaction in the liver where testosterone can be catalyzed to androstenedione (or vice versa) by the enzyme 17-beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. normally, for testosterone to be oxidized to androstenedione, NAD+ is reduced to NADH. but for whatever reason, oxidation of alcohol outcompetes testosterone oxidation. this causes a shift in the equilibrium so that more androstenedione is reduced to testosterone. that's what they think, at least, since they use the word "seems".

you can see a graphic of the steroid pathways here: http://www.ceri.com/q_v7n2q3.htm
item #4 between test. and andro.

meanwhile, they mention other studies have shown acute testosterone decrease after alcohol, but this tend to be with high dose. alcohol inhibits test. production directly in the testes. so there are two effects at play, one in the liver that raises test., and one in the testes that lowers it. overall effect is the sum of the two. net effect at low dose is transient increase.

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i wouldn't worry too much about low doses of alcohol. in general, what you see is general improvement in things like cardiovascular health or bone density up until about 2 drinks/day for men, and 1 for women. then you see a worsening of results as you go higher, until heavy drinking causes a decrease in health. but heavy drinking long-term will turn you into a eunuch (alcoholic hypogonadism).
 
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Q_Goest
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Well your biochem is a whole lot better than mine! I think I kinda understand. You're saying there's a temporary reaction that raises T in the liver but there's a more permanent one that decreases T production if alcohol is taken to excess. I guess the thing about excess is the alcohol damages production then...

Thanks for that. Cheers! [URL]http://www.bbc.co.uk/h2g2/skins/Alabaster/images/Smilies/f_cheers.gif[/URL]
 
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