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The Effect of Alcohol on Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Is There New Information?

An interesting review that assesses the effect of alcohol on cardiovascular risk factors was published in the March 27th edition of the journal Nutrients by Spanish and Chilean researchers.
The abstract states that ‘The effects of alcohol on cardiovascular health are heterogeneous and vary according to consumption dose and pattern. These effects have classically been described as having a J-shaped curve, in which lowto -mode r a t e consumption is associated with less risk than lifetime a b s t e n t i o n , and heavy drinkers show the highest risk. Nonetheless, the beneficial effects of alcohol have been questioned due to the diffculties in establishing a safe drinking threshold.

This review focuses on the association between alcohol consumption and cardiovascular risk factors and the underlying mechanisms of damage, with review of the literature from the last 10 years’.

The authors say that the effect of alcohol on cardiovascular risk factors are well established. This review shows that there are no definite associations, but trends can be specifically seen for each cardiovascular risk factor. Light-to-moderate alcohol intake, usually defined as <30 g/d, could be protective for hypertension and incident type 2 diabetes and also shows an increase in ‘good’ HDL-C levels that could be cardio-protective.

The authors recommend that future investigations must take into account the definition of levels and patterns of consumption, intake report by study subjects, measuring other characteristics and traits that can affect their response to alcohol consumption, and higher quality study designs are needed to avoid residual confounders They also confirm that the deleterious effect of heavy alcohol consumption have been established by numerous studies.

Source: The Effect of Alcohol on Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Is There New Information? Minzer, S.; Losno, R.A.; Casas, R. Nutrients 2020, 12, 912.

doi.org/10.3390/nu12040912. Full review - mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/4/912
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