The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome is rising worldwide. Its association with alcohol intake, a major lifestyle factor, is unclear, particularly with respect to the influence of drinking with as opposed to outside of meals. Researchers investigated the associations of different aspects of alcohol consumption with the metabolic syndrome and its components.
In cross-sectional analyses of 14,375 active or retired civil servants (aged 35-74 years) participating in the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSABrasil), logistic regression models were employed to investigate interactions between the quantity of alcohol, the timing of its consumption with respect to meals, and the predominant beverage type in the association of alcohol consumption with the metabolic syndrome. In analyses adjusted for age, sex, educational level, income, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, smoking, body mass index, and physical activity, light consumption of alcoholic beverages with meals was inversely associated with the metabolic syndrome (< / = 4 drinks/week: OR = 0.85, 95% CI 0.74- 0.97; 4 to 7 drinks/week: and OR = 0.75, 95% CI 0.61- 0.92), compared to abstention/occasional drinking. However, greater consumption of alcohol consumed outside of meals was significantly associated with the metabolic syndrome (7 to 14 drinks/week: OR = 1.32, 95% CI 1.11-1.57; and >/= 14 drinks/week: OR = 1.60, 95%CI 1.29-1.98). Drinking predominantly wine, which occurred mostly with meals, was significantly related to a lower syndrome prevalence; drinking predominantly beer, most notably when outside of meals and in larger quantity, was frequently associated with a greater prevalence.
The alcohol-metabolic syndrome association differs markedly depending on the relationship of intake to meals. Beverage preference - wine or beer - appears to underlie at least part of this difference, the authors state. Notably, most alcohol was consumed in metabolically unfavorable type and timing. The authors suggest that if further investigations extend these findings to clinically relevant endpoints, public policies should recommend that alcohol, when taken, should be preferably consumed with meals.
Source: Timing and type of alcohol consumption and the metabolic syndrome - ELSA-Brasil Vieira BA; Luft VC; Schmidt MI; Chambless LE; Chor D; Barreto SM; Duncan BB PLoS One Vol 11, No 9, 2016, Art No e0163044, 17pp.