The authors' previous studies have shown that hepatic steatosis of chronic ethanol ingestion in rats can be prevented by adding pyruvate, dihydroxyacetone, and riboflavin to their diet. In this study, the authors investigated the effect of chronic ethanol ingestion, with or without addition of the above metabolites to the diet, on protein and amino acid concentrations in tissues. Rats (120 g) were divided into three groups and fed isocalorically one of the fellowing diets for 30 days: control diet (28% fat, 15% protein, and 57% carbohydrate), ethanol diet (28% fat, 15% protein, 23% carbohydrate, and 24% ethanol), and metabolite diet (ethanol diet plus pyruvate, dihydroxyacetone, and riboflavin). Chronic ethanol ingestion reduced growth of muscle and intestinal mucosa without affecting that of liver and kidney. Among the 15 amino acids measured, chronic ethanol ingestion had the most consistent effect on plasma and tissue concentrations of leucine, alanine and alpha-amino-n-butyrate. The concentration of leucine was increased in muscle, liver, and plasma; that of alpha-amino-n-butyrate was increased in muscle and plasma, whereas that of alanine was decreased in plasma and liver. Addition of pyruvate, dihydroxyacetone, and riboflavin to the ethanol diet either totally or partially prevented ethanol-induced changes in plasma and tissue concentrations of amino acids despite similarity in plasma ethanol levels. Although these metabolites prevented the inhibition of the growth of intestinal mucosa, they were ineffective in blunting the effect of ehtanol on the skeletal muscle. This latter observation suggests that the mechanism of ethanol-induced inhibition of tissue growth is not the same for these tissues.