The effect of a reduction in androgens on ethanol elimination was determined in man. Bilateral therapeutic orchiectomy in nine patients for prostatic carcinoma decreased mean plasma testosterone levels from 489.8 ± 31.2 (S.E.) ng per dl to 55.3 ± 3.8 ng per dl and resulted in an increase in the rate of ethanol elimination in seven patients, no change in one, and a decrease in one. The mean rate of ethanol elimination for all nine patients increased from 83.6 ± 4.0 to 100.4 ± 4.2 mg per kg body weight per hr (p < 0.02). The most likely mechanism for an increase in ethanol elimination after orchiectomy is an increase in liver alcohol dehydrogenase content, which remains to be demonstrated in man.
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