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Alcohol consumption affects serum levels of some sex steroid hormones

Study investigated the relationships between alcohol consumption and serum levels of sex steroids in women.    TESTOSTERONE (T), ANDROSTENEDIONE (A4), DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE sulphate (DHEAS), ESTRONE (E1), ESTRADIOL (E2) and sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG) in 790 pre- and 1,291 post-menopausal women, who were part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Results supported the hypothesis of an influence of alcohol intake on sex hormone concentrations in blood:

–   Pre-menopausal women.   Those who consumed more than 25 g/day of alcohol had about 30% higher DHEAS, T and free T (fT), 20% higher ANDROSTENEDIONE and about 40% higher E1, concentrations compared to women who were non-consumers. E2, fE2 and SHBG concentrations showed no association with current alcohol intake.

–   Post-menopausal women.   Concentrations of DHEAS, fT, T, ANDROSTENEDIONE, and ESTRONE were between 10% and 20% higher in women who consumed more than 25 g/day of alcohol compared to non-consumers. E2 or fE2 were not associated with alcohol intake at all. SHBG levels were about 15% lower in alcohol consumers compared to non-consumers.

Rinaldi S et al, Relationship of alcohol intake and sex steroid concentrations in blood in pre- and post-menopausal women: the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Cancer Causes Control. 2006 Oct;17(8):1033-43. PubMed

In the U.S. 1 standard drink contains ~14g alcohol. E.g. 12oz beer, 5oz wine, 1.5oz spirit

Men's estradiol (E2) levels are significantly elevated proportional to their blood alcohol levels after drinking alcohol and speed of consumption.   May be related to estrogenic content of beer and wine, and may account for feminization with chronic alcohol abuse.  (Catharina J.Th. Couwenbergs (1988) Acute effects of drinking beer or wine on the steroid hormones of healthy men, Journal of Steroid Biochemistry, Volume 31, Issue 4, Part 1 Pages 467-473 Link )


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