Types Of Alcohol And Their Effect On Cholesterol
According to the American Addiction Center , drinking more than moderate amounts of wine, beer, or liquor such as vodka, whisky, and gin can have a detrimental effect on a persons health, including causing elevated cholesterol levels.
In addition, the type of alcohol a person consumes can have different effects on the body. The following sections will look at these types and their effects in more detail.
High Cholesterol: How To Lower Levels And Reduce Risk By Drinking Two Popular Drinks
High cholesterol is one of the precursors for heart attacks or strokes, which is why it’s important to keep your levels in check. One of the ways you can do this is by drinking two delicious drinks, study claims
High cholesterol occurs when a person has too much fatty substance in their blood. Eventually, these deposits grow, making it difficult for enough blood to flow through the arteries.
High cholesterol can mainly be caused by eating too much fatty food, not exercising enough, being overweight, smoking or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. It can also be inherited.
Doing all you can to keep your cholesterol levels in a healthy range is vital. One way you can do this is by drinking orange juice or Fuji apple juice, according to studies.
A diet that is rich in vegetables and fruits is believed to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, according to the NHS.
They are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C and potassium. They are also usually low in fat and calories, which is why they can help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your heart healthy.
Fruits are also high in fibre which is said to help with high cholesterol. It does this by blocking some cholesterol from being observed from the intestines into the blood stream.
The popular juice has also been found to help keep the heart healthy and strong.
Does Alcohol Increase Cholesterol Levels
While alcohol itself does not contain cholesterol, it can affect cholesterol levels in the blood in good and bad ways. To understand the link between alcohol and cholesterol, it is helpful to first understand how alcohol is broken down in the body.
The liver metabolizes alcohol and also produces cholesterol. Consuming alcohol can raise cholesterol levels because alcohol is processed through the same organ that is responsible for making cholesterol. For example, studies show that excessive drinking may increase LDL levels, which is the bad type of cholesterol.
In addition, alcohol is known to raise triglyceride levels. Your body will break down calories from alcohol to use as fuel before other nutrients in your body. Because alcohol is often consumed in addition to food, your body is more likely to store calories from food as fats in the form of triglycerides. Many alcoholic drinks also contain added sugars, which further increases the risk of raising triglyceride levels. High triglyceride levels can lead to liver damage, including fatty liver disease.
On the other hand, light to moderate intake has been shown to possibly raise HDL, the good type of cholesterol. Specifically, some research has shown that drinking one 4-ounce serving per day of red wine has been linked to heart health, including increasing HDL levels. However, this benefit may be coming more from the other beneficial components of wine including resveratrol, rather than the alcohol itself.
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How Much Alcohol Is Too Much
While alcohol often gets a bad rap, research is showing that it may not need to be avoided altogether to have good heart health.
The interpretation of too much will vary from person to person. Factors such as age, body size, and liver size all determine how quickly alcohol will be metabolized. Some people can break down alcohol more quickly than others.
The general recommendation is for adults to not participate in anything more than moderate drinking, with less drinking being even better. Moderate drinking is defined as 1 to 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women.
In the United States, 1 standard drink is considered to be:
12 ounces of regular beer
5 ounces of wine
1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits
Keep in mind that aside from raising cholesterol and triglyceride levels, excessive drinking is also linked to a long list of other health consequences including cancer, heart disease, birth defects, injuries caused by driving under the influence, memory problems, mental health disorders, alcohol poisoning, and more.
If you drink alcohol or have liver damage, talk to your doctor before taking cholesterol medications known as statins. These medications may cause liver problems, and alcohol use may increase the risk of liver issues.
What Should My Cholesterol Levels Be
Blood cholesterol is measured in units called millimoles per litre of blood, often shortened to mmol/L.
As a general guide, total cholesterol levels should be:
- 5mmol/L or less for healthy adults
- 4mmol/L or less for those at high risk
As a general guide, LDL levels should be:
- 3mmol/L or less for healthy adults
- 2mmol/L or less for those at high risk
An ideal level of HDL is above 1mmol/L. A lower level of HDL can increase your risk of heart disease.
Your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL may also be calculated. This is your total cholesterol level divided by your HDL level. Generally, this ratio should be below four, as a higher ratio increases your risk of heart disease.
Cholesterol is only one risk factor. The level at which specific treatment is required will depend on whether other risk factors, such as smoking and high blood pressure, are also present.
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But Any Positive Effects Were Negated By Heavy Drinking
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Drinking a beer a day could benefit good cholesterol in the body.
Moderate alcohol consumption, particularly of beer, was found to contribute to a slower decline in high-density lipoprotein , or good cholesterol in a study by researchers from Pennsylvania State University.
HDL helps remove bad cholesterol â low-density lipoprotein â from arteries.
How Does Alcohol Affect Cholesterol
While alcohol itself doesnt contain cholesterol, it can still affect your cholesterol levels in several ways.
To begin with, alcohol is processed through your liver, which also makes and eliminates cholesterol. When you drink excessively, your liver focuses on getting rid of the alcohol and becomes less efficient at other tasksincluding managing your cholesterol levels.
Your liver also processes fat and sugar more slowly when dealing with alcohol, leading to higher fat storage. Triglyceridesthe most common type of fat stored in the bodyare also linked to fatty buildup in the arteries. The extra calories in many alcoholic drinks can worsen this problem, even contributing to fatty liver disease, further affecting how well you process cholesterol.
Overall, higher alcohol consumptioneven occasional binge drinkingseems to increase lipid levels in the bloodstream, and is generally not good for heart health5.
Signs Of Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcohol use disorder occurs when a drinking problem hits a point where it becomes severe.
Symptoms may include:
- Drinking longer or more than you intended
- Inability to quit drinking
- Drinking to the point of feeling sick
- Cravings for alcohol
- Withdrawal when youre not drinking
- Negatives effects on your personal and professional life caused by drinking
- Building up a tolerance to alcohol, and the need to drink more to feel the effects
Anyone can develop AUD. However, some things may contribute to it like stress, mental health issues, grief, and various traumatic experiences. While not everyone who experiences these things will develop AUD, these factors can have an impact.
There are also key differences between alcohol misuse and addiction. Misuse occurs when alcohol has adverse effects on your personal and professional life. An addiction occurs when youre no longer able to control the habit.
How Can I Drink Less Alcohol
Cutting down on alcohol can be easier than you think. Try these tips to help you:
- check the percentage of alcohol in your drinks and swap to lower strength options
- only drink while youre having a meal
- take the bottle off the table while youre eating, so you wont top up without thinking
- alternate alcoholic drinks with soft drinks
- make your drinks last longer by adding ice, water or mixers
- try drinking more slowly
- watch out for very large glasses
- choose smaller amounts, such as a bottle of beer instead of a pint
- buy a measure so you know how much youre drinking.
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Tactics To Reduce Cholesterol Quickly
For most of us, thereâs really no need to pack our medicine cabinets with pills to reduce cholesterol levels. Natural, lifestyle-based strategies have proven extraordinarily effective in reducing cholesterol quickly and permanently.
Get the top 5 food and fitness tips recommended by the doctors, dietitians, exercise experts, and other faculty at the Pritikin Longevity Center. Pritikin has been helping people lower cholesterol levels since 1975.
Did you know that for every 10% drop in your cholesterol level, your heart attack risk drops by 20% to 30%? Theres more good news: Most of us can reduce cholesterol quickly, and without the need for medications. Simple lifestyle strategies can be very powerful.
Thats what several studies on thousands following the Pritikin Program of diet and exercise have found. Within three weeks, people were able to lower their cholesterol levels on average 23%, which translates into a 46% to 69% drop in heart attack risk.1
Inclusion And Exclusion Criteria
Only articles that meet the following requirements were included:
Articles published in the last 10 years
Interventions made in humans
Articles published in journals with a relevant impact factor
The exclusion criteria consisted in the following:
Articles published before 2010
Articles not containing some of the characteristics mentioned in the inclusion criteria
Interventions made in animals, ex-vivo, or in-silico
Articles of meta-analysis or systemic reviews that may overlap with the studies mentioned in this review
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High Triglycerides And Alcohol Use
Alcohol contains a lot of sugar and calories, and thus can elevate triglycerides in the body. Consuming large amounts of alcohol can increase the release of VLDL, increase the flow of free fatty acids to the liver from fat tissue, and impede the bodys ability to break down fat. In addition to raising triglyceride levels in the blood, overindulging in alcohol is linked to alcoholic fatty liver disease, pancreatitis, and cardiovascular disease.
There have been conflicting findings regarding whether light use of alcohol may be beneficial to the cardiovascular system. For instance, one meta-analysis found that individuals with low consumption of alcohol and no episodes of drinking heavily had a lower risk of ischemic heart disease than those who never drank, those who occasionally drank heavily, and those who chronically drank heavily. Yet, another more recent meta-analysis found that, although the overall analysis showed there was a lower risk of death from coronary heart disease for individuals with low consumption of alcohol, this correlation was not present in better quality studies, studies that controlled for heart health, or studies on individuals younger than 56. Thus, the connection some studies have found between light alcohol use and cardiovascular health may actually be due to factors other than light consumption of alcohol.
Lifestyle changes that can help lower triglycerides include:
- Regular physical activity
What Causes High Cholesterol
Different things that can cause high cholesterol. Some of these causes you can change and some of them you can’t.
Risk factors you can change:
- Too much food high in saturated fats, like red meat, butter, cream, and other dairy products
- Too many foods with refined sugars, such as sweets, baked goods, white bread and fizzy drinks
- Too much alcohol
- Not being active enough each day
- Having too much body fat, especially around the middle
The good news is there’s lots of ways to manage these risks. Read about lowering your cholesterol.
Risk factors you can’t change:
- Family history
- Biological sex
- Other medical conditions such as kidney or liver disease, or hypothyroidism.
Some high cholesterol conditions that are passed down through families, including:
- familial hyperlipidaemia
- familial hypercholesterolaemia
- familial hypertriglyceridaemia .
If you have one of these conditions, you may not be able to reduce your levels using lifestyle changes alone. You may need to go on medication as well.
If you have a parent or sibling with one of these conditions, talk to your doctor about getting your cholesterol checked. These conditions usually start at a younger age and can affect people in their teens or twenties.
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Alcohol With Cholesterol Diet Causes Increasing Serum Levels Of Liver Enzymes And Fasting Lipids
Serum ALT, AST, and ALP level were markers of hepatocyte necrosis. In our experiments, serum ALT was normal in the NLG , very mildly elevated in the CLG , significantly increased in the ALG and CALG, with almost 2-fold elevated in the CALG and serum ALT in the CALG significantly increased compared with the CLG ). Meanwhile, serum AST changed, as well as compared with the NLG or CLG, was the same tendency like ALT in all experimental groups after feeding 5 weeks ). Serum ALP also significantly increased in the CALG compared with the NLG or CLG ).
Mice fed with 4% alcohol and 0.5% cholesterol LD increasing serum levels of liver enzymes and fasting lipids for feeding 5 weeks. Liver damage reflected by levels of serum ALT, AST, and ALP. Serum lipids of TC, TG, HDL-c, and LDL-c were detected. Values were expressed as the mean ± SD . #P< 0.05 ##P< 0.01 versus NLG P< 0.05 P< 0.01 versus CLG.
What is more, serum TG was significantly elevated in the ALG, but there were the opposite results in the CLG and CALG compared with the NLG ). Serum TC and LDL-c were all significantly increased in the CALG and only serum LDL-c was significantly increased in the CLG compared with the NLG and 3). There was no significant change in serum HDL-c in all groups ). It indicated that the combination of alcohol and cholesterol diet induced more severe liver injury and disorder of lipid metabolism in mice.
What Are The Risks Linked To High Cholesterol
Too much LDL cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of heart and blood vessel disease .
The excess LDL cholesterol leads to fatty deposits called plaque forming in the artery walls. Over time, the plaque causes narrowing and hardening of the arteries .
This can lead to:
- Angina when plaque builds up in the major arteries that supply your heart, known as the coronary arteries, they become narrower and are partially blocked, reducing blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart. This may cause shortness of breath and chest pain.
- Heart attack if a plaque in a coronary artery bursts , a clot may form and block the supply of blood to the heart, starving it of oxygen.
- Stroke if the blood vessels that supply the brain become narrower or blocked by plaque, blood supply to the brain can be severely reduced or cut off, causing a stroke. Strokes can also be caused when a clot from another part of the body travels through the blood and lodges in an artery in the brain.
- Peripheral vascular disease this usually affects the arteries that supply the legs and feet, causing leg pain when walking , and even pain when resting, when the circulation is more badly affected
A high level of HDL cholesterol is good because HDL cholesterol helps remove other forms of cholesterol from the blood, taking them back to the liver where they’re removed from the blood and passed out of the body.
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Don’t Drink Beer To Lower Cholesterol
It’s possible that one beer a day might improve lipid profile and lower oxidation of LDL in some cases. Drinking three or more beers may adversely affect your lipid profile, heart health, and increase your risk of getting certain diseases, such as some types of cancer, high blood pressure, and stroke.
This trend has also been noted with other types of alcohol. Therefore, it is recommended that you do not drink too much beeror any alcoholic beverage for that matterif you are concerned about your heart health.
The World Health Organization has stated, based on recent studies, that no amount of alcohol intake is safe for health.
The American Heart Association recommends that if you do drink alcohol, males should limit to no more than one to two 12 ounce servings of beer daily, and females should limit to no more than 12 ounces of beer a day. Twelve ounces roughly equals 350 mL of beer.
If you do not typically drink, the American Heart Association cautions that you should not start drinking beeror any other alcoholsolely for the purpose of improving your heart health.
Other Health Issues Caused By Drinking Too Much
Alcohol misuse and drinking too much can affect many parts of the body, from the brain to the pancreas.
Excessive alcohol use can lead to problems with thinking, memory, learning, and sleep. Permanent brain damage can even occur. Other issues may include hallucinations and fatigue.
Weve discussed how alcohol can affect cholesterol and the heart, but it can also cause irregular heartbeat and other circulatory system problems.
Since the liver filters toxins from alcohol, it can be overworked, which can lead to scar tissue building up on the organ. Excessive alcohol use can also lead to liver diseases.
Too much drinking can cause pancreatitis, which can lead to malnutrition and digestive issues.
Alcohol can also affect the immune system by compromising it for up to 24 hours after drinking. This increases your risk of illness.
Binge drinking can lead to addiction later in life. More than 50% of adults are reportedly regular drinkers.
While alcohol use in moderation can be relatively safe if done responsibly, its important to know when theres an underlying issue such as misuse or addiction.
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