Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Glucose turnover and metabolic and hormonal changes in ethanol-induced hypoglycaemia.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 282 doi: (Published 14 March 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;282:849
  1. N M Wilson,
  2. P M Brown,
  3. S M Juul,
  4. S A Prestwich,
  5. P H Sönksen


    Infusion of 67 g ethanol over four hours in fasted, non-obese normal men (a) induced hypoglycaemia by inhibiting gluconeogenesis; (b) produced noticeable increases in blood lactate, 3-hydroxybutyrate, and free fatty acid concentrations; (c) depressed plasma growth hormone concentrations, despite hypoglycaemia; and (d) raised plasma cortisol concentrations before significant hypoglycaemia occurred. These metabolic changes were explained by the reduction of redox state which accompanies ethanol oxidation. The pronounced changes in metabolic values recorded during this study suggested that the use of parenteral feeding regimens including ethanol needs to be reconsidered.