26 January 2022 In Cancer

PURPOSE: The association between alcohol intake and glioma remains unclear. We evaluated the association between alcohol intake and incidence of glioma in three large, prospective cohort studies with repeated alcohol assessments.

METHODS: We harnessed data from three studies with repeat alcohol assessment to compute hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for glioma by overall alcohol intake and intake from specific beverages using Cox proportional hazards regression, adjusted for age, cohort, body mass index, smoking status, and caloric intake. Analyses were conducted separately for glioma overall and for glioblastoma (GBM).

RESULTS: We confirmed 554 incident glioma cases (362 GBM) among 237,505 participants with 6,216,378 person-years of follow up. Cumulative average alcohol intake was associated with reduced risk of glioma (HR = 0.75, 95%CI:0.56-0.99 comparing > 8-15 to 15 g/d to </= 0.5 g/d). When stratified by sex, for the same comparisons, the HRs for men were 0.57 (95%CI:0.36-0.89) and 0.79 (0.53-1.16), and for women 0.90 (95%CI:0.62-1.30) and 0.62, 95%CI:0.39-0.97. Results were consistent when examining cumulative average, baseline, and recent intake, and with a 4 year lag.

CONCLUSION: These results provide evidence against a positive association between alcohol intake and glioma risk. Alcohol intake was associated with reduced risk of glioma in both men and women.

17 November 2021 In Phenolic compounds

A considerable amount of literature has been published claiming the cardiovascular benefits of moderate (red) wine drinking, which has been considered a distinguishing trait of the Mediterranean diet. Indeed, red wine contains relevant amounts of polyphenols, for which evidence of their biological activity and positive health effects are abundant; however, it is also well-known that alcohol, even at a low level of intake, may have severe consequences for health. Among others, it is directly related to a number of non-communicable diseases, like liver cirrhosis or diverse types of cancer.

The IARC classifies alcohol as a Group 1 carcinogen, causally associated with the development of cancers of the upper digestive tract and liver, and, with sufficient evidence, can be positively associated with colorectum and female breast cancer. In these circumstances, it is tricky, if not irresponsible, to spread any message on the benefits of moderate wine drinking, about which no actual consensus exists.

It should be further considered that other hallmarks of the Mediterranean diet are the richness in virgin olive oil, fruits, grains, and vegetables, which are also good sources of polyphenols and other phytochemicals, and lack the risks of wine. All of these aspects are reviewed in this article.

17 November 2021 In General Health

Earlier age at menopause is associated with increased long-term health risks. Moderate alcohol intake has been suggested to delay menopause onset, but it is unknown whether alcohol subtypes are associated with early menopause onset at age 45. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate risk of early natural menopause among n=107,817 Nurses' Health Study II members followed from 1989-2011. Alcohol consumption overall, and by subtypes including beer, red wine, white wine, and liquor was assessed throughout follow-up. We estimated hazard ratios (HR) in multivariable models adjusting for age, body mass index, parity, smoking and other potential confounders. Women reporting moderate, current alcohol consumption had lower risks of early menopause than non-drinkers. Those reporting 10-14.9 g/day had lower risk of early menopause compared to non-drinkers (HR = 0.81, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.68, 0.97). Among specific beverages, evidence of lower early menopause risk was confined to white wine, and potentially red wine and liquor, but not to beer. Data from this large prospective study suggest a weak association of moderate alcohol intake with lower risk of early menopause, which was most pronounced for consumption of white and red wine, and liquor. High consumption was not related to lower early menopause risk.

22 October 2021 In Cardiovascular System

Many studies conclude that wine consumption is related to lower risk for cardiovascular diseases partially through the amelioration of inflammatory biomarkers. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of wine consumption on the inflammatory response and to compare these effects with the consumption of similar amount of alcohol without the wine micro-constituents in cardiovascular disease patients. Therefore, a randomized, single-blind, controlled, three-arm parallel intervention study was designed. Cardiovascular disease patients were randomly assigned to one of the three groups. In Group A participants consumed no alcohol, in Group B (ethanol group) and Group C (wine group) participants consumed 27 g of alcohol per day. Biological samples were collected at the beginning, on the 4th and 8th week and several biomarkers were measured. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells that were isolated from patients were incubated under basal and inflammatory conditions for 4 and 24 h and the secretion of interleukin 1beta (IL-1beta) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) was measured. No significant difference was observed among the three groups before the initiation or during the intervention in the most soluble biomarkers. Higher TNFalpha secretion by peripheral blood mononuclear cells was observed at basal conditions in the ethanol group both at 4 and 24 h of incubation versus baseline secretion. Furthermore, lower secretion of the TauNFalpha was observed after 8 weeks of intake in the wine group versus the ethanol group, both at 4 and 24 h of incubation. In conclusion, the light to moderate wine consumption for 8 weeks revealed an attenuation of the ethanol consumption effect on cytokine secretion at basal conditions from the patients' peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

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