27 April 2023 In General Health

Previous studies have reported conflicting results on the clinical impact of alcohol consumption on the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). This retrospective cohort study aimed to assess the dose-dependent association between alcohol consumption and the slope of the estimated GFR (eGFR) in 304,929 participants aged 40-74 years who underwent annual health checkups in Japan between April 2008 and March 2011. The association between the baseline alcohol consumption and eGFR slope during the median observational period of 1.9 years was assessed using linear mixed-effects models with the random intercept and random slope of time adjusting for clinically relevant factors. In men, rare drinkers and daily drinkers with alcohol consumptions of >/=60 g/day had a significantly larger decline in eGFR than occasional drinkers (difference in multivariable-adjusted eGFR slope with 95% confidence interval (mL/min/1.73 m(2)/year) of rare, occasional, and daily drinkers with /=60 g/day: -0.33 [-0.57, -0.09], 0.00 [reference], -0.06 [-0.39, 0.26], -0.16 [-0.43, 0.12], -0.08 [-0.47, 0.30], and -0.79 [-1.40, -0.17], respectively).

In women, only rare drinkers were associated with lower eGFR slopes than occasional drinkers. In conclusion, alcohol consumption was associated with the eGFR slope in an inverse U-shaped fashion in men but not in women.

27 April 2023 In General Health

Alcohol is calorie dense, but unlike food products, alcoholic drinks tend to be exempt from nutritional labelling laws that require energy content information to be displayed on packaging or at point of purchase. This review provides a perspective on the likely efficacy of alcoholic drink energy labelling as a public health policy to reduce obesity and discusses key questions to be addressed by future research.

First, the contribution that alcohol makes to population level daily energy intake and obesity is outlined. Next, consumer need for alcohol energy labelling and the potential impacts on both consumer and industry behavior are discussed. Pathways and mechanisms by which energy labelling of alcoholic drinks could reduce obesity are considered, as well as possible unintended consequences of alcoholic drink energy labelling. Would widespread energy labelling of alcoholic drinks reduce obesity? The unclear effect that alcohol has on population level obesity, the modest contribution calories from alcohol make to daily energy intake and limited impact nutritional labelling policies tend to have on behavior, suggest alcohol energy labelling may have limited impact on population obesity prevalence as a standalone policy. However, there are a number of questions that will need to be answered by future research to make definitive conclusions on the potential for alcohol energy labelling policies to reduce obesity.

27 April 2023 In General Health

While the detrimental effects of binge drinking are well recognized, low-to-moderate alcohol consumption may be beneficial to health, although the underlying mechanism(s) remains elusive. In this opinion article, we will examine the effects of low dose alcohol consumption from the perspective of epigenetic modulation. Biochemically, alcohol is metabolized into acetate and subsequently to acetyl-coA, which can modulate histone acetylation levels. While elevated levels of acetyl-CoA are detrimental for longevity, we argue that diminished acetyl-CoA also negatively affects fatty acid biosynthesis and histone acetylation, which play a critical role in gene expression and, ultimately, health span. Since mitochondrial function and glucose metabolism, which provide the main source of nucleocytoplasmic acetyl-CoA, are compromised with age, alcohol-derived acetate could be an alternative source of acetyl-CoA to compensate. Hence, the health benefits of low ethanol consumption may be more pronounced after midlife, since mitochondrial function and/or glucose metabolism are diminished in this phase of the life course.

Indeed, various clinical alcohol consumption studies concur with this notion, and have shown that a low dose of regular alcohol intake after midlife brings about various health and survival benefits. The requirement for regular alcohol intake may also reflect the transient nature of ethanol-induced histone acetylation. Conversely, ethanol may also stimulate carcinogenesis by inhibiting DNA methylation, as it was shown to reduce various pathways leading to DNA and histone methylation. However, unlike acetylation, where ethanol directly increases the substrate for acetylation, this effect was only observed in the high alcohol exposure cohort. While alcohol-derived acetate may be beneficial for health after midlife, various detrimental effects of alcohol consumption remain, and hence, we do not advocate excessive drinking to increase acetate. This opinion article establishes a possible role of ethanol-derived acetate in achieving homeostasis and sustaining an organism's health span.

27 April 2023 In General Health

PURPOSE: To assess the association between intakes of total alcohol and individual alcoholic beverages and the incidence of exfoliation glaucoma/glaucoma suspect (XFG/XFGS) status. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 195 408 participants in the Nurses' Health Study (1980-2018), the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986-2018), and the Nurses' Health Study II (1991-2019) were followed biennially. Eligible participants at each 2-year risk period were >== 40 years and free of XFG/XFGS status with available data on diet and ophthalmic examination findings. METHODS: Cumulatively averaged total (primary exposure) and individual alcoholic beverage (beer, wine, and liquor) intakes from validated dietary information every 2-4 years.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Confirmed incident XFG/XFGS status using medical records. We used per-eye Cox proportional hazards models, accounting for intereye correlations, to estimate multivariate-adjusted relative risks (MVRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). RESULTS: During 6 877 823 eye-years of follow-up, 705 eyes with XFG/XFGS status were documented.

Greater total alcohol consumption was associated significantly with higher XFG/XFGS status risk: the MVRR for XFG/XFGS status for cumulatively averaged alcohol consumption of >==15 g/day or more versus nondrinking was 1.55 (95% CI, 1.17-2.07; P = 0.02 for trend). Long- and short-term alcohol intake was associated significantly with XFG/XFGS status risk, with the strongest associations with cumulatively averaged alcohol intake as of 4 years before diagnosis (MVRR >/= 15 g/day vs. nondrinking, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.25-2.18; P = 0.002 for trend). Compared with nondrinkers, consuming >== 3.6 drinks of beer, wine, or liquor per week was associated with the following MVRRs for XFG/XFGS status: 1.26 (95% CI, 0.89-1.77; P = 0.40 for trend), 1.30 (95% CI, 1.00-1.68; P = 0.15 for trend), and 1.46 (95% CI, 1.15-1.85; P = 0.01 for trend), respectively. We did not observe interactions by age, latitude, residential tier, or intakes of folate or vitamin A (P > 0.40 for interaction); however, the association between alcohol and XFG/XFGS status was suggestively stronger for those without a family history of glaucoma (P = 0.10 for interaction). CONCLUSIONS: Long-term alcohol consumption was associated with a higher risk of XFG/XFGS status. Our findings provide further clues regarding the XFG/XFGS etiology.

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