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Does Drinking Alcohol Raise Cholesterol

What Is Considered Healthy Cholesterol

Does Moderate Alcohol Raise Bad Cholesterol? : Fresh Kitchen

High-density lipoprotein is considered the healthy kind of cholesterol.

For men 20 years and older, 125 to 200mg/dL is considered a healthy level for overall cholesterol. HDL should be about 40mg/dL or higher. LDL for men should be below 100mg/dL.2

For women 20 years and older, 125 to 200mg/dL is considered a healthy level for overall cholesterol. HDL should be about 50mg/dL or higher. LDL for women should be lower than 100mg/dL.2


These behaviors have also been linked to diabetes and dementia.8

Why Cholesterol Test Important

High cholesterol may trigger variety of cardiovascular diseases which are mostly spontaneous and life-threatening. Different from other diseases with symptoms, high cholesterol does not show noticeable signs and symptoms other than generally, a chest pain. However, when a severe chest pain occurs, it is usually too late for someone to survive the heart attack. Hence, cholesterol test might be an important, helpful tool in determining the body condition related to the entire level of cholesterol. If the test shows cholesterol level which is too high and therefore, might be harmful, the patient can thus modify their lifestyle to prevent further complications.

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Good Cholesterol Vs Bad Cholesterol

There are two types of cholesterolone considered positive, and the other negative:

  • Low-density lipoprotein : Often referred to as bad cholesterol, LDL is the type that causes dangerous buildup in the arteries. People who consume large amounts of saturated and trans fats are more likely to have high LDL levels.
  • High-density lipoprotein : Considered good cholesterol, HDL protects the body by transporting LDL cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver. The liver breaks down this bad cholesterol, and flushes it from the body.

Also Check: How To Improve Low Hdl Cholesterol Level

How Much Is Too Much

Moderation is key when it comes to alcohol. Consider this advice from the National Institutes of Health : Drinking less is better for health than drinking more.

So wheres that line? The federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 advises that adults of legal drinking age should limit alcohol intake to two drinks or fewer in a day for men and one drink or fewer in a day for women.

This is not meant as a daily average or target, either. Instead, consider it more of a boundary on any given day when you might choose to have an alcoholic beverage.

Its important to define what a drink means, too, as not all alcohol is the same. A standard alcoholic drink is typically defined as:

  • 12 ounces of regular beer .
  • 5 ounces of wine .
  • 1.5 ounces of a distilled spirit .

Did You Know That Red Wine Is Not Good For You

Alcohol and Cholesterol: Can Drinking Affect Your Heart Health?

Australias Heart Foundation advises against the consumption of red wine, and other types of alcoholic beverages, to prevent or treat cardiovascular disease.32

The World Health Organisation strengthens this, by recommending eating a healthier diet and being physically active would be more effective in reducing the death from ischemic heart disease than by drinking a low dose of alcohol. 34

The facts and figures.

In 2014, alcohol-related stroke hospitalisation in Western Australia cost 1.2 million.35

It is estimated that 1 person per month died from alcohol-related stroke in Western Australia.36

In 2014 the estimated number of alcohol-related stroke hospitalisations was 59.37

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Understanding Cholesterol Functioning And Alcohol

To understand how alcohol affects cholesterol levels, its important to know more about cholesterol. Cholesterol is a fatty, wax-like substance found in all cells of our body. We need cholesterol because it helps with important bodily functions like creating hormones and vitamin D.

However, when cholesterol levels are too high, it can build up in blood vessels in the form of plaque, narrowing or even blocking blood vessels over time. Narrow blood vessels prevent oxygenated blood from reaching important organs like the brain and heart and may lead to coronary heart disease, heart attack or stroke.

Cholesterol is carried in the blood by the lipoproteins, high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein .

  • High-density lipoprotein : this is known as good cholesterol because it picks up excess cholesterol from the body and takes it to the liver where it can be removed from the body.
  • Low-density lipoprotein : this is known as bad cholesterol because it can lead to a build-up of plaques in blood vessels. Low-density lipoprotein transports cholesterol throughout the body.

If you have ever had your cholesterol checked, the report likely included triglycerides levels as well. Triglycerides are another type of fat that can build up in blood vessels causing plaque. Like cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides also increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

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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

Recommended Reading: What Should You Not Eat If You Have High Cholesterol

Does Drinking Alcohol Raise Cholesterol

Drinking alcohol can raise cholesterol levels because alcohol is processed by the same organ that is responsible for making cholesterol. For example, studies show that drinking too much alcohol can raise levels of LDL, which is the bad type of cholesterol. Additionally, alcohol is known to raise triglyceride levels.

Data Collection And Biochemical Measurements

How Drinking Alcohol Affects Your Cholesterol

The KNHANES included well-established questions to determine the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the subjects. These included questions on age, sex, education level, income, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, exercise and medical history. Daily energy and nutrient intakes were assessed using a 24-h recall method and a food-intake frequency method. Height and weight were measured with the participant wearing light clothing and no shoes. Body mass index was then calculated as weight divided by the square of height . Blood pressure was measured with a mercury sphygmomanometer after the subject had rested for 5 min in a sitting position.

Blood samples were collected by venipuncture after 1012 h of fasting. Total cholesterol, HDL-C and triglycerides were measured by enzymatic methods with commercially available kits. Non-HDL-C was calculated as total cholesterol minus HDL-C. All blood analyses were carried out within 2 h of blood sampling by a laboratory certified by the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare.

The study protocol was approved by the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare and was conducted in accordance with the Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects, as defined by the Helsinki Declaration. Study participants provided written informed consent.

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Does Drinking 4 Beers A Day Make You An Alcoholic

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking is considered to be in the moderate or low-risk range for women at no more than three drinks in any one day and no more than seven drinks per week. For men, it is no more than four drinks a day and no more than 14 drinks per week.

Iv Resources On Alcohol And Cholesterol

Web Pages

Libonati, J. and Schwinden, K. Good Cholesterol, Bad Cholesterol. Bloomington: Authorhouse, 2011.

Rinzler, C. and Graf, M. Controlling Cholesterol for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ : Wiley, 2008

Senior, N. and Cuskelly, V. Eat to Beat Cholesterol. Chatswood, NSW: New Holland, 2016.

References for Alcohol and Cholesterol

  • Tabara, Y., et al. Mendelian randomization analysis in three Japanese populations. A causal role of alcohol consumption. Athero, 2016, 254, 242-248.
  • Baer, D., et al. Moderate alcohol consumption lowers risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr, 2002, 75, 593-539.
  • Koppes, L., et al. Blood cholesterol levels of 32-year-old consumers are better than of nonconsumers. Pharm Biochem Behav, 2000, 66, 163-167.
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    The Effect Of Alcohol On Postprandial And Fasting Triglycerides

    Albert Van de Wiel

    1Department of Internal Medicine, Meander Medical Center, Utrechtseweg 160, 3818 ES Amersfoort, The Netherlands

    Academic Editor:


    Alcohol has a significant additive effect on the postprandial triglyceride peak when it accompanies a meal containing fat, especially saturated fat. This results from a decrease in the breakdown of chylomicrons and VLDL remnants due to an acute inhibitory effect of alcohol on lipoprotein lipase activity. Furthermore, alcohol increases the synthesis of large VLDL particles in the liver, which is the main source of triglycerides in the hypertriglyceridemia associated with chronic excessive alcohol intake. In case of chronic consumption, lipoprotein lipase activity seems to adapt itself. The effect of alcohol on adipose tissues is less clear. Sometimes, a severe hypertriglyceridemia induced by alcohol can be observed, especially in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and/or obesity increasing the risk of pancreatitis.

    1. Introduction

    Since both food and alcohol are known to affect lipid metabolism, a number of studies have been directed to their combined effect. This paper will focus on triglycerides after the consumption of such mixed meals as well as on the observation that alcohol may induce a very severe form of HT, which may be of clinical relevance with an increased risk of pancreatitis .

    2. Alcohol and Triglycerides in Animal Studies

    3. Triglycerides after Mixed Meals in Humans

    5. Conclusions


    How Do Beer And Alcohol Affect Your Cholesterol

    whatischolesterol does alcohol affect cholesterol levels?

    38 percent of Americans suffer from high cholesterol, and many also consume large amounts of alcohol. While the two issues are not necessarily linkedsmoking, diet, and exercise are also major factorsthere does appear to be a connection between how much you drink and your cholesterol levels.

    But is drinking always bad for your cholesterol? How much drinking is too much? Does alcohol raise cholesterol in every case, or could some types of alcohol actually be beneficial? Below, well discuss the facts around cholesterol and alcohol, and how to keep a healthy balance.

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    Risks Of Drinking Alcohol

    Drinking too much alcohol can actually increase your risk for heart disease and stroke, raise blood pressure, contribute to obesity, and increase the levels of fats called triglycerides in the blood.

    Excessive drinking also can lead to heart muscle disease , irregular heartbeat , and stroke. Eventually, heavy alcohol use can leave the heart too weak to pump efficiently, a condition called congestive heart failure.

    Because drinking alcohol also has other downsides, including increased risk of some cancers, cirrhosis of the liver, and an increased risk of accidents, the American Heart Association does not recommend that you start drinking wine or any other alcoholic beverages specifically to lower your cholesterol or improve your heart health. Instead, the organization advises watching your weight, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly to keep your cholesterol levels in check.

    If you do plan to drink, check with your doctor first, and drink in moderation — . Some people, especially pregnant women, and those who take certain medicines regularly, should avoid alcohol entirely.

    Show Sources

    Mayo Clinic Q And A: Moderate Alcohol Intake Has Positive Effects On Heart Health But Too Much Causes Other Serious Health Concerns

    Dear Mayo Clinic:

    I have read that drinking alcohol can have positive effects on the heart, but that drinking too much alcohol can damage the heart. Is this true, and if so, how much is too much?

    Answer:Research has shown that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol can benefit your heart health. For most people, drinking larger than moderate amounts of alcohol does not significantly raise the risk of heart problems, but it can lead to other serious health concerns.

    If you drink alcohol, the American Heart Association recommends you limit yourself to no more than an average of one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. Quite a bit of attention has been given to the fact that red wine seems to be particularly beneficial. But studies have shown that the health benefits of alcohol are generally similar among wine, beer and spirits.

    If you do not drink alcohol, no one recommends you start drinking it for health reasons. You can make many heart-healthy lifestyle choices that do not include alcohol.

    These factors combine to result in a lower rate of cardiovascular disease in people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol than in people who do not drink alcohol at all. In addition to the heart benefits, moderate alcohol intake can slightly lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

    Clearly, drinking alcohol has some benefits. But there also are some very real risks. If you choose to drink, be mindful about it and always drink in moderation.

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    How To Read Your Results

    Your blood will likely be checked using a test called a total lipid profile. To understand your cholesterol test results, youll need to know the different types of cholesterol that the test measures and whats considered normal, potentially risky, and high.

    Heres a breakdown of each type. Keep in mind that people who have conditions such as diabetes may need to aim for even lower numbers.

    The Truth About Alcohols Effects On Cholesterol

    Can drinking milk raise your bad cholesterol levels?

    The fact remains: As we get older, our bodies change. While its crucial at any age to look after our health, it becomes even more important as the years go by. Yes, that includes putting more effort into our diet.

    Ever since we were young, weve heard about the importance of paying attention to what we put into our bodies. That rings true perhaps even more so as we get older. Unfortunately, Father Time is undefeated. We may not be able to throw the baseball as far as we used to, our hand-eye coordination might have slipped just a little bit, and weve noticed our metabolism is slightly different from what it was when we were 20.

    The fact remains: As we get older, our bodies change. While its crucial at any age to look after our health, it becomes even more important as the years go by. Yes, that includes putting more effort into our diet.

    Some dietary habits that start at an early age and last for years, such as excessive drinking, can have a lasting impact if not addressed.

    Reasons for drinking alcohol differ from person to person. Some might find it relaxing, while others use it as a way to socialize. But too much alcohol and alcohol misuse can impact your physical health in more ways than one.

    Today, well take a look at how alcohol affects things like cholesterol levels, signs of alcohol misuse, and what you can do to address alcohol use disorder.

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    Genetics And Cardiovascular Benefits

    Some evidence shows a link between genetics and the cardiovascular benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. There are two variations of an enzyme that breaks down alcohol in your body. One does it quickly and the other more slowly.

    If you are a moderate drinker with two copies of the slow-acting enzyme gene, you have a much lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease than those who drink the same amount but have two copies of the fast-acting enzyme gene. Individuals with one of each fall somewhere in the middle.

    What Qualifies As High Cholesterol

    In general, the following cholesterol levels are considered normal in healthy individuals:

    • Total Cholesterol: Below 200 milligrams per deciliter
    • LDL: Less than 130 mg/dL
    • HDL: More than 40 mg/dL

    Overall cholesterol above 240 mg/dL and LDL cholesterol at 160 mg/dL or above is considered high. LDL at 190 mg/dL or higher is considered very high. Such levels put people at risk for blood clots, chest pain, heart attack, and stroke.

    Schedule a private call with a Ria Health team member and we can help you get started.

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    Health Conditions That Can Affect Cholesterol Tests:

    If you are suffering from some inflammation or infection, it will affect your cholesterol test results. These can cause your HDL and total cholesterol levels to decrease. Not just physical conditions, but mental health conditions can also affect your blood cholesterol levels. Too much of stress can impact your cholesterol test readings and this can be misleading. About 10% decrease can occur in your HDL reading in the test, after rigorous exercising. So, it is recommended that you do not engage yourself in any sort of unusually vigorous exercise before taking this test.

    If you have had a surgery recently, that too will have an impact on your cholesterol level. If you have had a heart attack or stroke recently or due to the surgery, your cholesterol test readings will be lowered. So, you must wait for at least 3 months after the surgery or stroke or heart attack before taking the test. The onset of a chronic disease like cancer can lower your blood cholesterol readings. In fact, sudden decrease in your total cholesterol levels is a sign that there might be malignancy in the body.

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