We investigated the potential different effects of a chronic alcohol intake on glucose metabolism according to nutritional status in growing rats. Eighty weanling 4-week-old male Sprague Dawley rats were fed with low (5%, wt/wt) or control (22%) protein diet for 8 weeks. Each group was subdivided into alcohol (5 g/kg-1·day-1) or saline gavage rats during the last 4 weeks. At 12 weeks of age, we measured the weights of the body, pancreas, and epididymal fat; glycogen synthase activity of gastrocnemius muscle; and insulin content of the pancreas. We performed an ip glucose tolerance test and a euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp test. Weight gain was almost arrested in protein-deficient rats. The relative weight and insulin content of the pancreas and glycogen synthase activity were not different among the four groups, but the relative amount of epididymal fat decreased only in protein-deficient saline rats. Insulin response after glucose challenge and glucose disposal rate during the euglycemic clamp were both markedly decreased in protein-deficient saline rats, but not changed in protein-deficient alcohol rats. Protein-deficiency per se causes deterioration both in insulin secretory function and in sensitivity, but these defects are protected by a chronic alcohol intake. In a protein-sufficient state, alcohol intake gives no additional effects on glucose metabolism. Therefore, according to individual nutritional status, the metabolic effect of alcohol intake appears differently.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical