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Alcohol consumption, cardiovascular health, and endothelial function markers

Cardiovascular diseases are among the worldwide leading causes of shorter life expectancy and loss of quality of life. Thus, any influence of diet or life habits on the cardiovascular system may have important implications for public health. Most world populations consume alcoholic beverages. Since alcohol may have both protective and harmful effects on cardiovascular health, the identification of biochemical mechanisms that could explain such paradoxical effects is warranted. The vascular endothelium is the target of important mediating pathways of differential ethanol concentrations, such as oxidative stress, lipoproteins, and insulin resistance. Alcohol-induced endothelial damage or protection may be related to the synthesis or action of several markers, such as nitric oxide, cortisol, endothelin-1, adhesion molecules, tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, and haemostatic factors. The expression of these markers is consistent with the J-shaped curve between alcohol consumption and cardiovascular health. However, there is genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity in alcohol response, and despite the apparent beneficial biochemical effects of low doses of ethanol, there is not enough clinical and epidemiological evidence to allow the recommendation to consume alcoholic beverages for abstemious individuals. Considering the potential for addiction of alcoholic beverage consumption and other negative consequences of alcohol, it would be worthwhile to identify substances able to mimic the beneficial effects of low doses of ethanol without its adverse effects.

Additional Info

  • Authors:

    Bau,P.F.; Bau,C.H.; Rosito,G.A.; Manfroi,W.C.; Fuchs,F.D.

  • Issue: Alcohol / pages 479-488 / volume 41
  • Published Date: 2007/11
  • More Information:

    For more information about this abstract, please contact
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at the Deutsche Weinakademie GmbH

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