The effect of alcohol on testosterone

Although most studies have shown that alcohol inhibits the secretion of testosterone, one study found that alcohol sometimes causes a rapid increase in the concentration of testosterone in the plasma and brain.

The finding that a certain level of alcohol consumption may increase testosterone in some people’s brains may explain why alcohol causes some people to become aggressive when drunk.

The authors suggest that it can also explain other behavioral effects associated with increased testosterone levels, such as increased libido.

“We have shown that the two groups of male rats form very different ways of forming testosterone after acute drinking,” said Robert H. Purdy of the Scripps Research Institute, who is the senior author of the study. “These differences in animals may reflect similar individual differences in humans, and provide new insights into understanding individual differences in behavior and endocrine pathology related to alcohol abuse.”

Measured neuroactive steroids

According to the published report, the researchers “injected alcohol or 1,1-dideuterol (2 grams of alcohol/kg body weight) into the abdominal cavity of two groups of rats, of which 30 did not undergo surgery, and 24 had adrenalectomy and castration ( ADX/GDX) Wistar male. 1,1-dideuterol is a non-radioactive form of alcohol, in which two hydrogen atoms on the carbon atom #1 of ethanol have been replaced by deuterium atoms, which can then be tracked.”

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They then used mass spectrometry to determine the amount of neuroactive steroids present and the amount of deuterium in specific neuroactive steroids isolated from brain samples.

Fourfold increase in testosterone

The researchers found that after 30 minutes of drinking alcohol, the testosterone concentration in the frontal cortex of the rats that did not undergo the operation increased four-fold, and the testosterone concentration in the plasma increased three-fold.

The testosterone concentration of ADX/GDX rats is only 5% of that of rats that have not undergone surgery after alcohol injection. The author said that the results of the study indicate that alcohol oxidation is directly related to testosterone biosynthesis.

The direct alcohol-testosterone link is unexpected

“We found a direct link between alcohol consumption and the levels of the neuroactive steroid testosterone in the brains of these experimental animals, which was unexpected in previous studies on another type of rat,” Purdy said.

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Dennis D. Rasmussen, associate professor of research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Washington, said: “Although many other studies clearly show that long-term heavy drinking seems to continue to inhibit and inhibit reproductive function, this study proposes The possibility of alcohol abuse may also increase testosterone levels at least temporarily, and the direction of the response may depend on a variety of factors, including dosage and personal characteristics.”

“This particular dose produces blood alcohol levels and behavioral responses consistent with poisoning. Therefore, at least in some cases, at least in some people, drinking alcohol may drastically stimulate blood plasma and brain damage in men and women. Testosterone levels may therefore trigger some behavioral effects associated with elevated testosterone levels, such as increased libido or increased aggression.”

The effects of testosterone and the effects of alcohol

The results of this study were added to those of other studies in which drinking alcohol increased plasma testosterone levels in a sex- and dose-dependent manner.

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“It is important to put these studies together,” he said, “because they illustrate the widely accepted principle that drinking alcohol suppresses plasma testosterone levels and reproductive function-is not universally applicable.”

Rasmussen suggested that future research will build on and supplement the results of previous studies on the effects of alcohol on testosterone.

Will tolerance develop over time?

“It is important to determine whether lower doses of alcohol (which do not cause rapid and obvious poisoning and ataxia) will also cause a sharp increase in testosterone, and whether this response to lower doses is consistent in different strains of rats In addition, will repeated dosing produce tolerance?” he asked.

“Does this increase in testosterone occur after selective self-management of alcohol?” Rasmussen said. “Finally, and perhaps the most interesting, what role might the changes in testosterone exhibit in the behavioral responses to acute ethanol consumption? Are there gender differences in these responses? And, if the responses do occur in women, they are at different stages Is it different? Women’s cycle?”


The effect of alcohol on testosterone
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