Acute effects of drinking beer or wine on the steroid hormones of healthy men

J Steroid Biochem. 1988 Oct;31(4A):467-73. doi: 10.1016/0022-4731(88)90317-2.


Plasma Testosterone, Dihydrotestosterone and Estradiol were determined in 72 healthy volunteers, divided into 36 beer and 36 wine drinkers, who consumed between 0.9-2.1 g ethanol/kg b.wt, simulating natural patterns of drinking. Blood samples were taken 5-10 h after drinking ceased and compared with control samples withdrawn exactly 24 h previously. For a consideration of the time variation of blood sampling, the subjects were classified as fast and slow drinkers. All groups exhibited both depressed and elevated testosterone levels, depending upon the time after drinking (fast beer drinkers) and upon the amount of alcohol (fast wine drinkers). Consumption of beer and wine significantly (P less than 0.05) inhibited dihydrotestosterone biosynthesis; depending on the time after drinking (only in beer drinkers) and blood alcohol levels (slow beer drinkers). Estradiol levels were significantly elevated (P less than 0.05-less than 0.001); correlating with the amount of beer and wine/kg b.wt, with time after drinking (fast beer drinkers), and with blood alcohol levels (fast wine drinkers). Consumption of these beverages showed different dependencies for the changed hormone levels. It is discussed whether the estrogenic constituents of beer and wine might be responsible for the enhancement of estradiol, which could contribute towards clarifying the phenomenon of feminization observed with chronic abuse of alcohol.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Beer / adverse effects*
  • Dihydrotestosterone / blood*
  • Estradiol / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Testosterone / blood*
  • Wine / adverse effects*


  • Dihydrotestosterone
  • Testosterone
  • Estradiol