25 January 2023 In General Health
Although it is clearly established that the abuse of alcohol is seriously harmful to health, much epidemiological and clinical evidence seem to underline the protective role of moderate quantities of alcohol and in particular of wine on health. This narrative review aims to re-evaluate the relationship between the type and dose of alcoholic drink and reduced or increased risk of various diseases, in the light of the most current scientific evidence. In particular, in vitro studies on the modulation of biochemical pathways and gene expression of wine bioactive components were evaluated. Twenty-four studies were selected after PubMed, Scopus and Google Scholar searches for the evaluation of moderate alcohol/wine consumption and health effects: eight studies concerned cardiovascular diseases, three concerned type 2 diabetes, four concerned neurodegenerative diseases, five concerned cancer and four were related to longevity. A brief discussion on viticultural and enological practices potentially affecting the content of bioactive components in wine is included. The analysis clearly indicates that wine differs from other alcoholic beverages and its moderate consumption not only does not increase the risk of chronic degenerative diseases but is also associated with health benefits particularly when included in a Mediterranean diet model. Obviously, every effort must be made to promote behavioral education to prevent abuse, especially among young people.
25 January 2023 In Diabetes
AIM: We aimed to investigate the combined impact of liver enzymes and alcohol consumption on the diabetes risk. METHODS: Data on 5972 non-diabetic participants aged 30-79 years from the Suita study were analyzed. Diabetes incidence was surveyed every 2 years. Current daily alcohol consumption was defined as light drinking (/= 46.0 g and >/= 23.0 g). The nondrinkers category included both never-drinkers and former drinkers. RESULTS: During the median follow-up of 13 years, 597 incident diabetes cases were diagnosed. Higher levels of gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), alanine aminotransferase (GPT), and aspartate aminotransferase (GOT) were associated with an increased diabetes risk, and current light drinkers had a lower risk of diabetes than nondrinkers. No sex differences were observed in these associations. Compared to nondrinkers having the lowest quartiles of liver enzymes, nondrinkers and current moderate/heavy drinkers having the highest quartiles had an increased risk of diabetes. However, no association was observed for current light drinkers having the highest quartiles of liver enzymes; the multivariable hazard ratios (95% CIs) in current light drinkers with the highest quartile of liver enzymes were 1.27 (0.68-2.37) for GGT, 1.05 (0.59-1.89) for GPT, and 0.76 (0.40-1.47) for GOT, respectively. CONCLUSION: High liver enzymes were associated with an increased diabetes risk. No increased diabetes risk was observed in current light drinkers, even in these who had high levels of liver enzymes.
23 November 2022 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Studies evaluating alcohol consumption and cardiovascular diseases have shown inconsistent results. METHODS: We performed a systematic review of peer-reviewed publications from an extensive query of Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid Embase, Ovid Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Scopus, and Web of Science from database inception to March 2022 for all studies that reported the association between alcohol consumption in terms of quantity (daily or weekly amounts) and type of beverage (wine, beer or spirit) and cardiovascular disease events.

RESULTS: The study population included a total of 1,579,435 individuals based on 56 cohorts from several countries. We found that moderate wine consumption defined as 1-4 drinks per week was associated with a reduction in risk for cardiovascular mortality when compared with beer or spirits. However, higher risk for cardiovascular disease mortality was typically seen with heavier daily or weekly alcohol consumption across all types of beverages.

CONCLUSIONS: It is possible that the observational studies may overestimate the benefits of alcohol for cardiovascular disease outcomes. Although moderate wine consumption is probably associated with low cardiovascular disease events, there are many confounding factors, in particular, lifestyle, genetic, and socioeconomic associations with wine drinking, which likely explain much of the association with wine and reduced cardiovascular disease events. Further prospective study of alcohol and all-cause mortality, including cancer, is needed.

23 November 2022 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: The causal effects of moderate alcohol consumption on cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are continuously debated, especially on coronary artery disease (CAD).

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to explore the causal associations of alcohol consumption with CVDs and all-cause mortality among Chinese males.

METHODS: A prospective cohort study was conducted in 40,386 Chinese males, with 17,676 being genotyped for the rs671 variant in the aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) gene. A Cox proportional hazards model was conducted to estimate the effects of self-reported alcohol consumption. Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis was performed to explore the causality using rs671 as an instrumental variable. RESULTS: During the follow-up of 303,353 person-years, 2406 incident CVDs and 3195 all-cause mortalities were identified. J-shaped associations of self-reported alcohol consumption with incident CVD and all-cause mortality were observed, showing decreased risks for light (</=25 g/d) and moderate drinkers (25-</=60 g/d). However, MR analyses revealed a linear association of genetically predicted alcohol consumption with the incident CVD (P-trend = 0.02), including both CAD (P-trend = 0.03) and stroke (P-trend = 0.02). The HRs (95% CIs) for incident CVD across increasing tertiles of genetically predicted alcohol consumption were 1 (reference), 1.18 (1.01, 1.38), and 1.22 (1.03, 1.46). After excluding heavy drinkers, the risk of incident CVD and all-cause mortality was increased by 27% and 20% per standard drink increment of genetically predicted alcohol consumption, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Our analyses extend the evidence of the harmful effect of alcohol consumption to total CVD (including CAD) and all-cause mortality, highlighting the potential health benefits of lowering alcohol consumption, even among light-to-moderate male drinkers.

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