From the HBD Archive
From: "Spencer W. Thomas" <>
Subject: calories
Date: 1992-05-13 14:02:34 GMT writes:
> the Swiss study ... found that metabolism was increased by alcohol.

Overall metabolism was increased by alcohol. Fat metabolism was
reduced. Moral: don't eat fatty food with your beer. They
added/replaced (two different experiments) 25% of the daily calories
in alcohol. More than you're likely to drink in an average day!

At higher levels (!) of alcohol consumption, the body converts alcohol
to fat. The authors of the Swiss study did not think that was
happening (although their method could not rule it out). The complete
abstract is included below for the masochists.

=Spencer W. Thomas HSITN, U of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 313-747-2778

Suter PM Schutz Y Jequier E
The effect of ethanol on fat storage in healthy subjects.
N Engl J Med (1992 Apr 9) 326(15):983-7

BACKGROUND. Ethanol can account for up to 10 percent of the energy
intake of persons who consume moderate amounts of ethanol. Its effect
on energy metabolism, however, is not known. METHODS. We studied the
effect of ethanol on 24-hour substrate-oxidation rates in eight
normal men during two 48-hour sessions in an indirect-calorimetry
chamber. In each session, the first 24 hours served as the control
period. On the second day of one session, an additional 25 percent of
the total energy requirement was added as ethanol (mean [+/- SD], 96
+/- 4 g per day); during the other session, 25 percent of the total
energy requirement was replaced by ethanol, which was isocalorically
substituted for lipids and carbohydrates. RESULTS. Both the addition
of ethanol and the isocaloric substitution of ethanol for other foods
reduced 24-hour lipid oxidation. The respective mean (+/- SE)
decreases were 49.4 +/- 6.7 and 44.1 +/- 9.3 g per day (i.e.,
reductions of 36 +/- 3 percent and 31 +/- 7 percent from the
oxidation rate during the control day; P less than 0.001 and P less
than 0.0025). This effect occurred only during the daytime period
(8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.), when ethanol was consumed and metabolized.
Neither the addition of ethanol to the diet nor the isocaloric
substitution of ethanol for other foods significantly altered the
oxidation of carbohydrate or protein. Both regimens including ethanol
produced an increase in 24-hour energy expenditure (7 +/- 1 percent
with the addition of ethanol, P less than 0.001; 4 +/- 1 percent with
the substitution of ethanol for other energy sources, P less than
0.025). CONCLUSIONS. Ethanol, either added to the diet or substituted
for other foods, increases 24-hour energy expenditure and decreases
lipid oxidation. Habitual consumption of ethanol in excess of energy
needs probably favors lipid storage and weight gain.

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