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Light to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with an enzyme that may be protective for cardiovascular disease

Authors of a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition state that paraoxonase-1 (PON-1), an enzyme associated with high-density lipoprotein (HDL) that has antioxidative properties, may protect against the development of cardiovascular disease. Alcohol consumption increases HDL cholesterol, but the extent to which alcohol consumption gives rise to higher serum PON-1 activity is uncertain.
In their population-based study, researchers determined the relation of serum PON-1 activity with alcohol consumption when taking account of HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I), its major apolipoprotein. A cross-sectionalstudy was performed in 8,224 participants of the Prevention of Renal and Vascular End-Stage Disease (PREVEND) cohort. Alcohol consumption was categorised as 1) no/rarely (25.3%); 2) 0.1-10 g/d (49.3%); 3) 10-30 g/d (20.1%); and 4) >30 g/d (5.2%). Serum PON-1 activity was measured as its arylesterase activity (phenyl acetate as substrate).
The median serum PON-1 activity was 50.8, 53.1, 54.4, and 55.7 U/L in the 4 categories of alcohol consumption, respectively. Its increase paralleled the increments in HDL cholesterol and apoA-I.
Notably, there was no further increase in PON-1 activity, HDL cholesterol, and apoA-I when alcohol consumption was increased from 10-30 g/d to >30 g/d. Multivariable linear regression analysis demonstrated that PON-1 activity was related to alcohol consumption independently from clinical covariates, high sensitivity C-reactive protein, and lipid concentrations, including HDL cholesterol.
The authors conclude that alcohol consumption is associated with an increase in serum PON-1 activity, but its effect seems to reach a plateau with alcohol consumption of 10-30 g/d.
Source: Serum paraoxonase-1 activity is associated with light to moderate alcohol consumption: the
PREVEND cohort study. Gruppen EG; Bakker SJ; James RW; Dullaart RP. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol 108, No 6, 2018, pp1283-1290.
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