Alcohol abuse-duration dependent decrease in plasma testosterone and antioxidants in males

Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 2006 Jul-Sep;50(3):291-6.


Ethanol is a testicular toxin and it causes fertility abnormalities with low sperm count and impaired sperm motility in men. The present study was designed to investigate plasma testosterone level and hypothalamic pituitary gonadal (HPG) axis function in alcoholic men and also effect of ethanol on systemic oxidative stress. Forty six male alcohol abusers in the age group 20-40 years were selected. Fifty five, males in the same age group served as control. Alcohol abusers had significantly low plasma testosterone with low luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone. In addition they had significantly high thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), superoxide dismutase and glutathione S-transferase, and low glutathione, ascorbic acid, catalase, glutathione reductase and glutathione peroxidase. Moreover, serum testosterone level in alcoholics negatively correlated with duration of alcohol abuse, and TBARS. Duration dependent decreased serum testosterone level in alcohol abusers might be due to 1) increased oxidative stress which can damage Leydig and supporting Sertoli cells and 2) impaired HPG axis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / blood*
  • Alcoholism / pathology
  • Antioxidants / analysis*
  • Central Nervous System Depressants / toxicity
  • Ethanol / toxicity
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Leydig Cells / metabolism
  • Leydig Cells / pathology
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Pituitary Gland / metabolism
  • Sertoli Cells / metabolism
  • Sertoli Cells / pathology
  • Sperm Count
  • Sperm Motility / drug effects
  • Testosterone / blood*
  • Time Factors


  • Antioxidants
  • Central Nervous System Depressants
  • Ethanol
  • Testosterone
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone