Authors of a study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine state that the precise relationship between alcohol intake and metabolic syndrome (MetS) is still unclear, and the results from previous studies have been inconclusive. Their study examined the effect of alcohol intake on the risk of MetS in men in order to investigate further a potential relationship.
22,349 men were divided into four groups according to their average alcohol intake [non-, light (less than 20 g ethanol/day), heavy (equal or more than 20 g and less than 60 g ethanol/day) and very heavy (equal and greater than 60 g ethanol/day) drinkers]. Each subject’s body mass index (BMI), waist circumference and blood pressure (BP) was measured and blood tests were conducted to obtain a complete blood count and biochemical panel. These results were used to obtain the MetS prevalence. Additionally, fatty liver was diagnosed using abdominal ultrasonography.
Light drinkers had smaller waist circumferences. Heavy and very heavy drinkers had larger waist circumferences, a higher BMI, a higher BP, higher fasting plasma glucose levels, higher triglycerides (TG) levels and higher high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels while they had lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels than non drinkers.
The prevalence of high BP, hyperglycemia and high TG was significantly higher in heavy and very heavy drinkers than in non drinkers or moderate drinkers. The prevalence of low HDL cholesterol levels decreased with an increase in alcohol consumption. The prevalence of MetS was significantly lower in light drinkers and higher in very heavy drinkers compared with non drinkers..Very high (60g a day or higher) alcohol intake significantly influences the risk of MetS in men.
Source: Relationship between Alcohol Intake and Risk Factors for Metabolic Syndrome in Men. M Hirakawa, Y Arase, K Amakawa, Y Ohmoto-Sekine, M Ishihara, M Shiba, K Ogawa, C Okuda, T Jinno, H Kato, H Tsuji, M Hashimoto, T Yamamoto, S Arimoto and S Hara. Intern Med 54: 2139- 2145, 2015.