Chronic ethanol administration to growing rats for 56 days resulted in circulating levels of 140 mg/dl, approximating concentrations that characterize alcoholic intoxication in man. This degree of alcohol ingestion, although without gross or histological effect on the liver or testicles, was attended by decreased trabecular bone volume despite a normal rate of skeletal mineralization as measured by time-spaced tetracycline labeling. Concomitant serum levels of calcium, phosphate, magnesium, creatinine, glutamic oxalacetic transaminase, alkaline phosphatase, testosterone, and 25-hydroxyvitamin D were normal. Although alcohol treatment was associated with a significant decrease in urinary calcium excretion, it had no effect on phosphate excretion nor on its renal tubular reabsorption. The data reveal that circulating levels of alcohol that do not result in hepatic or testicular injury are toxic for bone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E507-E510
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1980


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