28 June 2016 In Drinking & Eating Patterns

The relation between alcohol consumption and mortality is a J-shaped curve in most of the many studies published on this topic. The Copenhagen Prospective Population Studies demonstrated in the year 2000 that wine intake may have a beneficial effect on all cause mortality that is additive to that of alcohol. Wine contains various poliphenolic substances which may be beneficial for health and in particular flavonols (such as myricetin and quercetin), catechin and epicatechin, proanthocyanidins, anthocyanins, various phenolic acids and the stilbene resveratrol. In particular, resveratrol seems to play a positive effect on longevity because it increases the expression level of Sirt1, besides its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticarcinogenic properties. Moderate wine drinking is part of the Mediterranean diet, together with abundant and variable plant foods, high consumption of cereals, olive oil as the main (added) fat and a low intake of (red) meat. This healthy diet pattern involves a "Mediterranean way of drinking," that is a regular, moderate wine consumption mainly with food (up to two glasses a day for men and one glass for women). Moderate wine drinking increases longevity, reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and does not appreciably influence the overall risk of cancer.

28 June 2016 In Cardiovascular System

OBJECTIVES: The preference for a specific alcoholic beverage may be related to an individual's overall lifestyle and health. The objective was to investigate associations between alcoholic beverage preference and several cardiometabolic and lifestyle factors, including adiposity, cholesterol, glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), liver enzymes and dietary patterns.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.

SETTING: The Dutch Longitudinal Nutrition Questionnaires plus (NQplus) Study. PARTICIPANTS: 1653 men and women aged 20-77 years.

METHODS: Diet, including alcohol, was assessed by Food Frequency Questionnaire. Based on the average number of reported glasses of alcoholic beverage, a person was classified as having a preference for beer, wine, spirit/no specific preference, or as a non-consumer. Mixed linear models were used to calculate crude and adjusted means of cardiometabolic and lifestyle factors across alcoholic beverage preference categories.

PRIMARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Anthropometric measures, blood pressure, lipids, HbA1c, albumin, creatinine, uric acid, liver enzymes and dietary patterns.

RESULTS: In the study population, 43% had a wine preference, 13% a beer preference, 29% had a spirit or no specific preference, and 15% did not consume alcohol. Men who preferred wine had lowest measures of adiposity; the preference for alcoholic beverages was not associated with adiposity measures in women. Wine consumers had higher high density lipoprotein-cholesterol, lower HbA1c and were more likely to follow the 'Salad' pattern. Beer consumers had highest levels of triglycerides and liver enzymes, and had higher scores for the 'Meat' and 'Bread' pattern.

CONCLUSIONS: Few differences in dietary patterns across alcoholic beverage preference categories were observed. Those differences in cardiometabolic parameters that were observed according to alcoholic beverage preference, suggested that wine consumers have a better health status than beer consumers.

24 February 2016 In Cancer

Several dietary factors have been associated with the occurrence of cancers of the oral cavity and oropharynx, larynx and oesophagus, collectively called upper aerodigestive tract (UADT) cancers, but the evidence is considered as inconclusive. We hypothesised that the traditional Mediterranean dietary pattern may be more strongly inversely associated with UADT cancer risk than individual dietary components, and may explain the unexpectedly low incidence of these cancers in Greece. In the context of the European alcohol-related cancers and genetic susceptibility in Europe project, we have conducted a hospital-based case-control study in Athens, Greece, comparing 239 incident UADT cases and 194 hospital controls with admission diagnoses unrelated to tobacco, alcohol or diet. Adherence to Mediterranean diet was assessed through a widely used score, which ranges from 0 (minimal adherence) to 9 (maximal adherence) and increases with high consumption of plant foods and olive oil and low consumption of meat, dairy products and saturated lipids. Stricter adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with a substantial and significant decrease in UADT cancer risk (30 % for a two-unit increase in score), whereas after mutual adjustment, no individual dietary component of this diet was significantly associated with this risk. Adherence to the traditional Mediterranean diet is associated with reduced risk of UADT cancers, and may explain the lower incidence of UADT cancers in Greece, in spite of the smoking and drinking habits of this population.

The second German National Nutrition Survey (NVS II) aimed to evaluate food consumption and other aspects of nutritional behaviour of a representative sample of the German population, using a modular design with three different dietary assessment methods. To assess usual food consumption, 15 371 German speaking subjects 14-80 years of age completed a diet history interview between November 2005 and November 2006. With reference to the guidelines of the German Nutrition Society (DGE), NVS II observed that the German population did not eat enough foods of plant origin, especially vegetables and consumed too much of meat and meat products. While generally similar food consumption is observed in other European countries, consumption of bread, fruit juices/nectars and beer is higher in Germany. On average, men consumed two times more meat and soft drinks as well as six times more beer than women did, whereas the consumption of vegetables, fruit as well as herbal/fruit tea was higher in women. Older participants showed a lower consumption of meat, fruit juice/nectars, soft drinks and spirits as well as a higher consumption of fish, vegetables, fruit, and herbal/fruit tea than adolescents and younger adults did. There are also differences in food consumption with regard to socio-economic status (SES). Persons with higher SES consumed more vegetables, fruit, fish, water, coffee/tea and wine, while persons with lower SES consumed more meat and meat products, soft drinks and beer. In general, the food consumption of women, the elderly and the higher SES group tends to be closer to the official dietary guidelines in Germany.

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