Effects of ethanol on the levels of unconjugated and conjugated androgens and estrogens in plasma of men

J Steroid Biochem. 1986 Jun;24(6):1193-8. doi: 10.1016/0022-4731(86)90382-1.


The concentrations in plasma of estradiol, estrone, testosterone and 4-androstene-3,17-dione and their monosulphates and glucuronides were determined after oral administration of 0.3 g ethanol per kg body weight to four men. The levels of the unconjugated steroids did not change in a consistent way. In contrast, the concentrations of estradiol monosulphate and estradiol glucuronide increased markedly. The increase paralleled the blood alcohol concentrations and control levels were reached 3 h after the ethanol intake. A coupling of ethanol oxidation with reduction of dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate has previously been established, and it is suggested that the ethanol-induced change of the hepatic redox level affects the interconversion of conjugated forms of estradiol and estrone resulting in elevated levels of conjugated estradiol. This could have a feminizing effect and affect the feed-back regulation of gonadal hormone production.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Androgens / blood*
  • Androstenedione / blood
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Estradiol / blood
  • Estrogens / blood*
  • Estrone / blood
  • Ethanol / pharmacology*
  • Glucuronates / blood
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sulfates / blood
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Androgens
  • Estrogens
  • Glucuronates
  • Sulfates
  • Estrone
  • Ethanol
  • Testosterone
  • Androstenedione
  • Estradiol