, Volume 50, Issue 7, pp 1388-1392,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 11 May 2007

The effect of moderate alcohol consumption on adiponectin oligomers and muscle oxidative capacity: a human intervention study

Abstract

Aims/hypothesis

The aim of this study was to investigate whether moderate alcohol consumption increases plasma high molecular weight (HMW) adiponectin and/or muscle oxidative capacity.

Materials and methods

Eleven lean (BMI 18–25 kg/m2) and eight overweight (BMI ≥27 kg/m2) men consumed 100 ml whisky (∼32 g alcohol) or water daily for 4 weeks in a randomised, controlled, crossover trial. After each treatment period, muscle biopsies and fasting blood samples were collected.

Results

Adiponectin concentrations increased (p < 0.001) by 12.5% after 4 weeks of moderate alcohol consumption. Moderate alcohol consumption tended to increase HMW adiponectin by 57% (p = 0.07) and medium molecular weight adiponectin by 12.5% (p = 0.07), but not low molecular weight (LMW) adiponectin. Skeletal muscle citrate synthase, cytochrome c oxidase and β-3-hydroxyacyl coenzyme A dehydrogenase (β-HAD) activity were not changed after moderate alcohol consumption, but an interaction between alcohol consumption and BMI was observed for cytochrome c oxidase (p = 0.072) and citrate synthase (p = 0.102) activity. Among lean men, moderate alcohol consumption tended to increase cytochrome c oxidase (p = 0.08) and citrate synthase activity (p = 0.12) by 23 and 26%, respectively, but not among overweight men. In particular, plasma HMW adiponectin correlated positively with activities of skeletal muscle citrate synthase (r = 0.64, p = 0.009), cytochrome c oxidase (p = 0.59, p = 0.009) and β-HAD (r = 0.46, p = 0.056), while such correlation was not present for LMW adiponectin. Whole-body insulin sensitivity and intramyocellular triacylglycerol content were not affected by moderate alcohol consumption.

Conclusions/interpretation

Moderate alcohol consumption increases adiponectin concentrations, and in particular HMW adiponectin. Concentrations of HMW adiponectin in particular were positively associated with skeletal muscle oxidative capacity.