07 February 2023 In Cardiovascular System

Alcohol consumption ranging from 1-2 drinks/day associates with a lower risk of coronary heart disease in some studies.

The underlying mechanisms are unclear. The Metabolic Imprints of Alcoholic Beverages (MetAl) trial aimed to explore the short-term effects of moderate alcohol consumption on cardiovascular biomarkers. A 2 x 3-week cross-over single-blinded intervention trial investigating the effect of 1-2 drinks/day (~12-24 g) compared with abstention on (1)H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance-measured main lipoproteins and subfractions was performed in 26 healthy adults.

Volunteers were classified as occasional or habitual drinkers based on their habitual alcohol intakes (/=2 drinks/week).

Compared with abstention, 1-2 drinks/day increased HDL(2a)-C (p = 0.004), HDL(3)-C (p = 0.008), and HDL non-significantly (p = 0.19).

Total apoA1 and apoA1 in HDL and its subfractions increased (p < 0.05). Novel findings were a decreased apoB/apoA1 ratio (p = 0.02), and increased HDL(2a) phospholipid content (p = 0.04). In women alone, the results were similar but attenuated, and LDL-P decreased. Thus, changes in apoA1- and HDL-related biomarkers occur within weeks in moderate drinkers. Compared with abstention, 1-2 drinks/day increased total apoA1 more strongly than HDL-C and increased the cholesterol, apoA1, and phospholipid content of several HDL subfractions.

Whether this provides a cardiovascular benefit requires further study. Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT03384147.

29 January 2023 In Cardiovascular System

Alcohol consumption ranging from 1-2 drinks/day associates with a lower risk of coronary heart disease in some studies.

The underlying mechanisms are unclear. The Metabolic Imprints of Alcoholic Beverages (MetAl) trial aimed to explore the short-term effects of moderate alcohol consumption on cardiovascular biomarkers. A 2 x 3-week cross-over single-blinded intervention trial investigating the effect of 1-2 drinks/day (~12-24 g) compared with abstention on (1)H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance-measured main lipoproteins and subfractions was performed in 26 healthy adults. Volunteers were classified as occasional or habitual drinkers based on their habitual alcohol intakes (/=2 drinks/week).

Compared with abstention, 1-2 drinks/day increased HDL(2a)-C (p = 0.004), HDL(3)-C (p = 0.008), and HDL non-significantly (p = 0.19). Total apoA1 and apoA1 in HDL and its subfractions increased (p < 0.05).

Novel findings were a decreased apoB/apoA1 ratio (p = 0.02), and increased HDL(2a) phospholipid content (p = 0.04). In women alone, the results were similar but attenuated, and LDL-P decreased.

Thus, changes in apoA1- and HDL-related biomarkers occur within weeks in moderate drinkers. Compared with abstention, 1-2 drinks/day increased total apoA1 more strongly than HDL-C and increased the cholesterol, apoA1, and phospholipid content of several HDL subfractions. Whether this provides a cardiovascular benefit requires further study. Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT03384147.

23 November 2022 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Alcohol is a discretionary, energy dense, dietary component. Compared to non-drinkers, people who consume alcohol report higher total energy intake and may be at increased risk of weight gain, overweight, and obesity, which are key preventable risk factors for illness. However, accurate consumer knowledge of the energy content in alcohol is low. To inform future behaviour change interventions among drinkers, this study investigated individual characteristics associated with changing alcohol consumption due to energy-related concerns.

METHODS: An online survey was undertaken with 801 Australian adult drinkers (18-59 years, 50.2% female), i.e. who consumed alcohol at least monthly. In addition to demographic and health-related characteristics, participants reported past-year alcohol consumption, past-year reductions in alcohol consumption, frequency of harm minimisation strategy use (when consuming alcohol), and frequency of changing alcohol consumption behaviours because of energy-related concerns.

RESULTS: When prompted, 62.5% of participants reported changing alcohol consumption for energy-related reasons at least 'sometimes'. Women, those aged 30-44 years, metropolitan residents, those with household income $80,001-120,000, and risky/more frequent drinkers had increased odds of changing consumption because of energy-related concerns, and unemployed respondents had reduced odds.

CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate that some sociodemographic groups are changing alcohol consumption for energy-related reasons, but others are not, representing an underutilised opportunity for health promotion communication. Further research should investigate whether messaging to increase awareness of alcohol energy content, including through systems-based policy actions such as nutritional/energy product labelling, would motivate reduced consumption across a broader range of drinkers.

23 November 2022 In Drinking Patterns

Although excessive alcohol consumption is a highly prevalent public health problem the data on the associations between alcohol consumption and health outcomes in individuals preferring different types of alcoholic beverages has remained unclear. We examined the relationships between the amounts and patterns of drinking with the data on laboratory indices of liver function, lipid status and inflammation in a national population-based health survey (FINRISK). Data on health status, alcohol drinking, types of alcoholic beverages preferred, body weight, smoking, coffee consumption and physical activity were recorded from 22,432 subjects (10,626 men, 11,806 women), age range 25-74 years. The participants were divided to subgroups based on the amounts of regular alcohol intake (abstainers, moderate and heavy drinkers), patterns of drinking (binge or regular) and the type of alcoholic beverage preferred (wine, beer, cider or long drink, hard liquor or mixed). Regular drinking was found to be more typical in wine drinkers whereas the subjects preferring beer or hard liquor were more often binge-type drinkers and cigarette smokers. Alcohol use in all forms was associated with increased frequencies of abnormalities in the markers of liver function, lipid status and inflammation even at rather low levels of consumption. The highest rates of abnormalities occurred, however, in the subgroups of binge-type drinkers preferring beer or hard liquor. These results demonstrate that adverse consequences of alcohol occur even at moderate average drinking levels especially in individuals who engage in binge drinking and in those preferring beer or hard liquor. Further emphasis should be placed on such patterns of drinking in policies aimed at preventing alcohol-induced adverse health outcomes.

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