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The mechanism by which moderate alcohol consumption influences coronary heart disease

Modest alcohol consumption reduces the incidence of fatty liver in men An open access paper in the journal Nutrition provides an integrated view of the CHD pathogenesis pathway in order to elucidate how moderate alcohol consumption could reduce CHD risk.

A literature review was conducted focusing on the pathogenesis of CHD. Biomarker data were further systematically analysed from 294 cohort studies, comprising 1,161,560 subjects. From the above a suitably integrated CHD pathogenetic system for the purpose of this study was developed.

The resulting integrated system provides insight into the integrated higher-order interactions underlying CHD and moderate alcohol consumption. A ‘connection graph’ is used to illustrate the relationship between moderate alcohol consumption and the relative risks (RR) attributed to various measureable CHD serological biomarkers. Thus, the possible reasons for the reduced RR for CHD with moderate alcohol consumption become clear at a glance.

The authors conclude that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a lower risk of CHD. This lower risk has been observed independent of the beverage type consumed. A high-level conceptual model has been developed which links moderate alcohol consumption, and the pathogenesis and hallmarks of CHD.

This shows the positive effect of moderate alcohol consumption on certain important aspects of the pathogenesis of CHD and may explain why moderate alcohol consumption is associated with lower CHD risk. It is now clear at a glance that moderate alcohol consumption increases HDL-cholesterol, insulin sensitivity and adiponectin levels while decreasing inflammation, all of which have positive effects on the risk for CHD.

The integrated high level CHD model provides a summary of evidence for a causal relationship between CHD risk and moderate alcohol consumption.

Source: The mechanism by which moderate alcohol consumption influences coronary heart disease. Marc J Mathews, Leon Liebenberg and Edward H Mathews. Nutrition Journal 2015,14:33. www.nutritionj.com/content/14/33

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