Carbohydrate intake determines pancreatic acinar amylase activity and release despite chronic alcoholemia in rats

H. Sankaran, C. W. Deveney, E. C. Larkin, G. A. Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Adverse effects observed in alcoholic rats are often attributed to alcohol per se. Alcoholic liver damage, however, can be avoided by modulating nutritional factors despite high blood alcohol concentrations. Hence, we examined the effect of blood alcohol concentration on pancreatic enzyme activity and release. Three liquid diets containing 36 and 18% of total energy derived from alcohol and protein, respectively, were fed. Each alcohol diet contained 11, 21 or 31% of energy from carbohydrate, and the fat concentration was appropriately adjusted. The control groups of rats (fed an isoenergetic liquid diet without alcohol) and the alcoholic groups of rats were maintained for 2 wk. The three groups of alcoholic rats consumed 13.3 ± 2.3, 13.3 ± 2.2 and 13.2 ± 1.9 g/kg of alcohol daily, and their corresponding blood alcohol levels were 41.5 ± 4.3, 55.4 ± 8.9 and 44.6 ± 2.2 mmol/L. Pancreatic acinar amylase activity in alcoholic rats was proportional to carbohydrate ingested, despite high blood alcohol concentrations; chymotrypsin and trypsin activities were unchanged. Acinar enzyme activities in control rats were similar. Furthermore, cholecystokinin- octapeptide-stimulated amylase release in alcoholic rats corresponded with the amylase concentration in acini, whereas stimulated trypsin output was unaltered in both control and alcoholic rats. These results demonstrate that neither alcohol ingestion nor high blood alcohol concentration affects the activities of pancreatic proteases and that the changes in the activity and release of amylase are related to the intake of carbohydrate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1884-1891
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • alcohol
  • amylase activity
  • carbohydrate intake
  • pancreatic acini
  • rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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