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Alcohol Alcohol. 2000 Sep-Oct;35(5):417-23.

The effects of moderate alcohol consumption on female hormone levels and reproductive function.

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  • 1Department of Occupational Therapy and Art Therapy, Queen Margaret University College, Duke Street, Edinburgh EH8 6HF, UK.


Studies that have investigated the effect of moderate alcohol consumption on the level of oestrogens and progesterone in both pre- and post-menopausal women are reviewed. It is concluded that several lines of evidence point to an alcohol-induced rise in natural or synthetic oestrogen levels in women. Proposed mechanisms include an increased rate of aromatization of testosterone or a decreased rate of oxidation of oestradiol to oestrone. Moderate alcohol consumption has also been linked to decreased progesterone levels in pre-menopausal women. The relevance of these findings to female health, fertility and the timing of the menopause is considered.

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