Scientists Figure Out How Alcohol Lowers Blood Sugar


By: Patrick Totty

Swedish scientists have found that alcohol lowers blood sugar by redirectingblood within the pancreas and sending massive amounts of it to the islets.

The finding by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, is the first toshow how alcohol is able to lower blood sugar levels. What happens is that bysending more of the pancreas's internal blood flow to the islets, alcohol spursinsulin production, which in turn lowers glucose levels.

The scientists injected rats with ethanol alcohol and noted that blood flow tothe islets increased fourfold. The alcohol did not affect the amount of bloodreaching the pancreas, only the distribution of blood within it.

The study also found that alcohol induced the changes in blood flow by affectingnitric oxide, a chemical compound that medical studies suggest is instrumentalin glucose transport and the actions of insulin. Alcohol also affected the vagusnerve, which descends from the brain and into the abdomen and, among otherthings, signals organs there to secrete.

Source: Endocrinology, January 2008



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