19 November 2021 In Cardiovascular System

Excess alcohol consumption is a leading contributor to the global burden of disease and a major risk factor for mortality. Yet, prior studies suggested that moderate alcohol consumption may be associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events. However, this evidence is based on data from younger individuals, and confirmation in older adults is lacking. Thus, we sought to investigate the risk of CVD events and all-cause mortality associated with alcohol consumption in initially healthy, older individuals.

For these post  hoc analyses we used data from the ASPirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) trial, which investigated the effect of low-dose...

17 November 2021 In Phenolic compounds

A considerable amount of literature has been published claiming the cardiovascular benefits of moderate (red) wine drinking, which has been considered a distinguishing trait of the Mediterranean diet. Indeed, red wine contains relevant amounts of polyphenols, for which evidence of their biological activity and positive health effects are abundant; however, it is also well-known that alcohol, even at a low level of intake, may have severe consequences for health. Among others, it is directly related to a number of non-communicable diseases, like liver cirrhosis or diverse types of cancer.

The IARC classifies alcohol as a Group 1 carcinogen, causally associated with the development of cancers of the upper digestive tract and liver, and, with sufficient evidence, can be positively associated with colorectum and female breast cancer. In these circumstances, it is tricky, if not irresponsible, to spread any message on the benefits of moderate wine drinking, about which no actual consensus exists.

It should be further considered that other hallmarks of the Mediterranean diet are the richness in virgin olive oil, fruits, grains, and vegetables, which are also good sources of polyphenols and other phytochemicals, and lack the risks of wine. All of these aspects are reviewed in this article.

17 November 2021 In General Health

Earlier age at menopause is associated with increased long-term health risks. Moderate alcohol intake has been suggested to delay menopause onset, but it is unknown whether alcohol subtypes are associated with early menopause onset at age 45. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate risk of early natural menopause among n=107,817 Nurses' Health Study II members followed from 1989-2011. Alcohol consumption overall, and by subtypes including beer, red wine, white wine, and liquor was assessed throughout follow-up. We estimated hazard ratios (HR) in multivariable models adjusting for age, body mass index, parity, smoking and other potential confounders. Women reporting moderate, current alcohol consumption had lower risks of early menopause than non-drinkers. Those reporting 10-14.9 g/day had lower risk of early menopause compared to non-drinkers (HR = 0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.68, 0.97). Among specific beverages, evidence of lower early menopause risk was confined to white wine, and potentially red wine and liquor, but not to beer. Data from this large prospective study suggest a weak association of moderate alcohol intake with lower risk of early menopause, which was most pronounced for consumption of white and red wine, and liquor. High consumption was not related to lower early menopause risk.

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