26 April 2017 In General Health

PURPOSE: Endothelial dysfunction and low-grade inflammation are key phenomena in the pathobiology of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Their dietary modification might explain the observed reduction in CVD that has been associated with a healthy diet rich in fruit, vegetables and fish, low in dairy products and with moderate alcohol and red wine consumption. We investigated the associations between the above food groups and endothelial dysfunction and low-grade inflammation in a population-based cohort of Dutch elderly individuals.

METHODS: Diet was measured by food frequency questionnaire (n = 801; women = 399; age 68.5 +/- 7.2 years). Endothelial dysfunction was determined (1) by combining von Willebrand factor, and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1), vascular cell adhesion molecule 1, endothelial selectin and thrombomodulin, using Z-scores, into a biomarker score and (2) by flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD), and low-grade inflammation by combining C-reactive protein, serum amyloid A, interleukin 6, interleukin 8, tumour necrosis factor alpha and sICAM-1 into a biomarker score, with smaller FMD and higher scores representing more dysfunction and inflammation, respectively. We used linear regression analyses to adjust associations for sex, age, energy, glucose metabolism, body mass index, smoking, prior CVD, educational level, physical activity and each of the other food groups.

RESULTS: Moderate [beta (95% CI) -0.13 (-0.33; 0.07)] and high [-0.22 (-0.45; -0.003)] alcohol consumption, and red wine [-0.16 (-0.30; -0.01)] consumption, but none of the other food groups, were associated with a lower endothelial dysfunction biomarker score and a greater FMD. The associations for FMD were, however, not statistically significant. Only red wine consumption was associated with a lower low-grade inflammation biomarker score [-0.18 (-0.33; -0.04)].

CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol and red wine consumption may favourably influence processes involved in atherothrombosis.

01 February 2017 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

Mixing alcohol with diet beverages, as compared to mixing the same amount of alcohol with a regular beverage, is associated with greater intoxication. This may occur because diet mixers increase alcohol absorption rates. Thus, it is plausible that the use of diet mixers may increase the risk of alcohol-related harms. The current study sought to (1) determine the rate/frequency of use in among college students, (2) examine the relationship between mixing alcohol with diet beverages and alcohol-related problems, above typical alcohol use and sensation seeking, and (3) explore key traits (gender, restricting food while drinking, and body mass index [BMI]) that may characterize users. Participants were 686 (73% female) undergraduate students who completed self-reports of alcohol use (including diet mixer use), alcohol-related problems, eating behaviors while drinking, sensation seeking, and demographic information. Results revealed that about 36% of the sample reported consuming alcohol with diet mixers, and users typically consumed this beverage at least once a month. Students who reported mixing alcohol with diet beverages experienced more alcohol-related problems. And, the more frequently one consumed this beverage, the more problems were reported. These associations were found after controlling for typical level of alcohol use and sensation seeking. No differences were observed between user-status on gender, eating behaviors while drinking, and BMI. Our findings suggest that mixing alcohol with diet beverages could be a risk factor for experiencing more alcohol-related harms. Further research is needed to understand this relationship, as it may help guide intervening efforts aimed to reduce alcohol-related risks.

27 October 2016 In Diabetes

OBJECTIVE: To generate evidence-based conclusions about the effect of wine consumption on weight gain and abdominal fat accumulation and distribution in patients with type 2 diabetes.

DESIGN: In the 2-year randomized controlled CASCADE (CArdiovaSCulAr Diabetes & Ethanol) trial, patients following a Mediterranean diet were randomly assigned to drink 150 ml of mineral water, white wine or red wine with dinner for 2 years. Visceral adiposity and abdominal fat distribution were measured in a subgroup of sixty-five participants, using abdominal MRI.

SETTING: Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Soroka-Medical Center and the Nuclear Research Center Negev, Israel.

SUBJECTS: Alcohol-abstaining adults with well-controlled type 2 diabetes.

RESULTS: Forty-eight participants (red wine, n 27; mineral water, n 21) who completed a second MRI measurement were included in the 2-year analysis. Similar weight losses (sd) were observed: red wine 1.3 (3.9) kg; water 1.0 (4.2) kg (P=0.8 between groups). Changes (95 % CI) in abdominal adipose-tissue distribution were similar: red wine, visceral adipose tissue (VAT) -3.0 (-8.0, 2.0) %, deep subcutaneous adipose tissue (DSAT) +5.2 (-1.1, 11.6) %, superficial subcutaneous adipose tissue (SSAT) -1.9 (-5.0, 1.2) %; water, VAT -3.2 (-8.9, 2.5) %, DSAT +2.9 (-2.8, 8.6) %, SSAT -0.15 (-3.3, 2.9) %. No changes in antidiabetic medication and no substantial changes in energy intake (+126 (sd 2889) kJ/d (+30.2 (sd 690) kcal/d), P=0.8) were recorded. A 2-year decrease in glycated Hb (beta=0.28, P=0.05) was associated with a decrease in VAT.

CONCLUSIONS: Moderate wine consumption, as part of a Mediterranean diet, in persons with controlled diabetes did not promote weight gain or abdominal adiposity.

25 October 2016 In Liver Disease

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Moderate alcohol consumption has been associated with a lower risk of disease severity in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). It is unclear if this reflects current or lifetime drinking, or can be attributed to confounders such as diet and exercise. We evaluated the impact of lifetime alcohol consumption on fibrosis severity in NAFLD.

METHODS: We prospectively enrolled 120 subjects with biopsy-proven NAFLD and through detailed questionnaires examined lifetime alcohol consumption, diet and physical activity. Main outcome measures were odds ratios (OR) for fibrosis stage, calculated through ordinal regression after adjustment for body mass index, diabetes mellitus type 2, smoking and age at biopsy. A biomarker for recent alcohol consumption, phosphatidyl ethanol (PEth) was sampled.

RESULTS: An increase in median weekly alcohol consumption to a maximum of 13 drinks per week was associated with lower fibrosis stage (adjusted OR for each incremental unit, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.76-0.97; p = .017). The lowest risk for fibrosis was found with the lowes`t odds seen in the top quartile of alcohol consumption (aOR 0.23; 95% CI 0.08-0.66; p = .006). Adding soft drink and coffee consumptions, and physical activity to the model did not change the estimates. Subjects with PEth >/=0.3 mumol/L had higher ORs for a higher fibrosis stage (aOR 2.77; 95% CI 1.01-7.59; p = .047).

CONCLUSION: Lifetime alcohol consumption with up to 13 units per week is associated with lower fibrosis stage in NAFLD. Elevated PEth is associated with higher stages of fibrosis.

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