Some Endocrine Aspects of Alcoholism

  • Robert W. Farmer
  • Louis F. FabreJr.
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 56)


Alcohol has long been known to affect endocrine organs. Early studies of postmortem material and animal investigations showed that alcohol could cause adrenal and testicular atrophy. As the role of the adrenal in glucose metabolism was elucidated, and before direct measures of hormones was possible, it was postulated that alcoholism was an endocrine disease, (adrenocortical insufficiency). While no substantive evidence to justify that hypothesis has evolved to date, the fact remains that endocrine systems are profoundly altered by alcohol. The full extent of this is not known primarily because relatively little effort has been devoted to the question using modern analytic tools such as radioimmunoassay. The following is a summary of the recent work from this and from other laboratories.


Plasma Cortisol Plasma Aldosterone Plasma Testosterone Aldosterone Secretion Testicular Atrophy 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert W. Farmer
    • 1
  • Louis F. FabreJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Texas Medical School at HoustonUSA

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