26 November 2015 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Helicobacter pylori are major carcinogen of gastric cancer, but the associations among gastric cancer, H. pylori infection status, and alcohol consumption are not fully described. This study aimed to clarify how H. pylori infection status affects the association between alcohol consumption and gastric cancer risk.

METHODS: We selected 949 case-cohort participants from the 18 863 Korean Multi-center Cancer Cohort (KMCC) populations. Gastric cancer incidence inside and outside of the subcohort were 12 and 254 cases, respectively. Seropositivities for CagA, VacA, and H. pylori infection were determined by performing immunoblot assays. Weighted Cox regression models were used to calculate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

RESULTS: Relative to non-drinking, heavy drinking (7 times a week), and binge drinking (55 g alcohol intake per occasion) showed a 3.48-fold (95% CI, 1.13-10.73) and 3.27-fold (95% CI, 1.01-10.56) higher risk in subjects not previously infected by H. pylori. There was no significant association between drinking pattern and gastric cancer risk in H. pylori IgG seropositive subjects. An increased risk for gastric cancer in heavy- and binge-drinking subjects were also present in subjects not infected by CagA- or VacA-secreting H. pylori.

CONCLUSIONS: Heavy and binge alcohol consumption is an important risk factor related to an increasing incidence of gastric cancer in a population not infected by H. pylori.

28 August 2015 In Cardiovascular System

Despite the equipoise regarding alcohol's cardiovascular effects and absence of relevant rigorous controlled trials, the lay press frequently portrays alcohol as "heart healthy." The public perception of alcohol's heart effects, the sources of those perceptions, and how they may affect behavior are unknown. We performed a cross-sectional analysis of data obtained from March 2013 to September 2014 from consecutive participants enrolled in the Health eHeart Study. Of 5,582 participants, 1,707 (30%) viewed alcohol as heart healthy, 2,157 (39%) viewed it as unhealthy, and 1,718 (31%) were unsure. Of those reporting alcohol as heart healthy, 80% cited lay press as a source of their knowledge. After adjustment, older age (odds ratio 1.11), higher education (odds ratio 1.37), higher income (odds ratio 1.07), US residence (odds ratio 1.63), and coronary artery disease (odds ratio 1.51) were associated with perception of alcohol as heart healthy (all p <0.003). Ever smokers (odds ratio 0.76, p = 0.004) and those with heart failure (odds ratio 0.5, p = 0.01) were less likely to cite alcohol as heart healthy. Those perceiving alcohol as heart healthy consumed on average 47% more alcohol on a regular basis (95% confidence interval 27% to 66%, p <0.001). In conclusion, of >5,000 consecutive Health eHeart participants, approximately 1/3 believed alcohol to be heart healthy, and the majority cited the lay press as the origin of that perception. Those with a perception of alcohol as heart healthy drink substantially more alcohol.

11 May 2015 In Liver Disease

BACKGROUND: Alcohol abuse represents the most common cause of liver disease in the Western countries. Pre-clinical and clinical studies showed that alcohol consumption affects amount and composition of gut microbiota. Moreover, gut flora plays an important role in the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver injury.

AIM: To review the relationship between alcohol administration and changes on gut microbiota, its involvement in the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease, and how gut microbiota modulation could be a target for the treatment of alcoholic liver disease.

METHODS: Articles were identified using the PubMed database with the search terms 'Alcohol', 'Gut Microbiota', 'Alcoholic liver disease', 'Probiotic', 'Prebiotic', 'Symbiotic' and 'Antibiotic'. English-language articles were screened for relevance. Full review of publications for the relevant studies was conducted, including additional publications that were identified from individual article reference lists.

RESULTS: Alcohol abuse induces changes in the composition of gut microbiota, although the exact mechanism for this alteration is not well known. The translocation of bacterial products into the portal blood appears to play a key role in alcohol-induced liver damage. Several studies show that the modulation of gut microbiota seem to be a promising strategy to reduce alcohol-induced liver injury.

CONCLUSIONS: Further studies are needed to better understand the relationship between alcohol administration and changes in gut microbiota, and its involvement in alcoholic liver disease. Moreover larger studies are needed to confirm the preliminary results on the therapeutic effects of gut microbiota modulation.

08 April 2015 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

WHO statistics indicate that half the world's population does not drink alcohol. With a Western outlook this fact is often overlooked.

FINDINGS: The article explores the global drinking patterns focusing on non-drinking and the global forces that contribute towards change. The large segment of non-drinking population is beneficial for public health but it is also seen as a great potential for the international alcoholic beverage industry.

CONCLUSION: The forces of globalization towards conformity and a global mono-culture deprived of cultural diversity also affects non-drinking populations, to the detriment of public health.

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