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June 5, 1972

Intestinal Lipogenesis by Alcohol

JAMA. 1972;220(10):1358. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200100070018

Investigators keep coming up with new bits of evidence that add to the already numerous evils of alcohol and so nibble away at the joys of drinking. Carter and his colleagues1 at Harvard now report that the feeding of a high-alcohol liquid diet to rats over a four-week period resulted in a significant increase in the synthesis of triglyceride from palmitate as measured in intestinal slices and microsomes. The controls were treated with isocaloric glucose in place of alcohol. The alcohol diet caused a 25- to 54-fold increase in microsomal incorporation of palmitate to triglyceride; this was minimized when pyrazole, an inhibitor of alcohol metabolism, was added to the alcohol feedings.

The authors introduce their study by recalling previous work on the effects of alcohol on intestinal physiology. Some functions are inhibited, such as the uptake and transport of amino acids and glucose and the absorption of vitamin B