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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Alcohol consumption and hormonal alterations related to muscle hypertrophy: a review

Antonino Bianco1, Ewan Thomas1, Francesco Pomara2, Garden Tabacchi3, Bettina Karsten4, Antonio Paoli5* and Antonio Palma1

Author Affiliations

1 Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Unit, University of Palermo, Via Eleonora Duse, 2, 90146 Palermo, Italy

2 MEDEOR Research Institute, Via Emilio Salgari, 69, 90147 Palermo, Italy

3 Department of Sciences for Health Promotion and Mother-Child Care “G. D’Alessandro”, University of Palermo, Via del Vespro 133, 90127 Palermo, Italy

4 Life and Sports Science, University of Greenwich, Central Avenue, ME4 4TB, Chatham Maritime, United Kingdom

5 Department of Biomedical Sciences (DSB), University of Padova, Via Marzolo 3, 35131 Padova, Italy

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Nutrition & Metabolism 2014, 11:26  doi:10.1186/1743-7075-11-26

Published: 6 June 2014


Detrimental effects of acute and chronic alcohol (ethanol) consumption on human physiology are well documented in the literature. These adversely influence neural, metabolic, cardiovascular, and thermoregulatory functions. However, the side effects of ethanol consumption on hormonal fluctuations and subsequent related skeletal muscle alterations have received less attention and as such are not entirely understood. The focus of this review is to identify the side effects of ethanol consumption on the major hormones related to muscle metabolism and clarify how the hormonal profiles are altered by such consumption.

Alcohol; Muscle hypertrophy; Hormones; Protein synthesis