Adiponectin is a hormone secreted from adipose tissue that has protective effects for several diseases. The hormone is involved in a number of metabolic processes, including glucose regulation and fatty acid catabolism and plays a role in the suppression of metabolic derangements that may result in obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
A German study, supported by the alcohol research foundation European Research Advisory Board (ERAB) showed that moderate intake of alcoholic beverages can increase the level of adiponectin in the blood circulation. Thus, alcohol-containing beverages might also exert their protective effects through increased levels of adiponectin.
German researchers recently investigated the effect of short-term moderate consumption of either low-concentrated ethanol solution, red wine, and beer with or without alcohol on adiponectin in a randomised controlled crossover intervention trial. A total of 72 non-smoking healthy German Caucasian men and women, aged 22-56 years, moderate consumers of alcoholic beverages and without a family history of alcohol dependency, were recruited. After a washout period of at least 2 weeks, the participants were randomly allocated to the following interventions over a 3 week period: beer (5.6%), red wine (12.5%), or ethanol in water (concentration 12.5%), equivalent to 30 g ethanol/day for men and 20 g/day for women or the same amount of de-alcoholised beer or de-alcoholised red wine (same brand) or pure water (control group).
The results showed that among females, adiponectin significantly increased after intervention with red wine by 30%, and increased among men after ethanol solution by 17%, and after beer consumption by 16%. De-alcoholised beverages had no substantial effect on adiponectin concentrations.
The authors conclude that moderate amounts of ethanol-containing beverages increased adiponectin concentrations, but sex-specific effects might depend on type of beverage consumed.
Source: Effect of Drinking on Adiponectin in Healthy Men and Women: A randomized intervention study of water, ethanol, red wine, and beer with or without alcohol A Imhof, I Plamper, S Maier, G Trischler W Koenig, MD Diabetes Care June 2009 vol. 32 no. 6 1101-1103