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.
How Does Drinking Alcohol Affect Health
Heres what science tells us about alcohols effects on the body.
Drinking too much alcohol can raise the levels of some fats in the blood known as triglycerides. A high triglyceride level combined with high LDL cholesterol or low HDL cholesterol has been associated with fatty buildup in the artery walls. That, in turn, can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Excessive drinking can also lead to high blood pressure, cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmia and even death from alcohol poisoning. And it can interfere with the brains communication pathways, affecting the way the brain works.
Binge drinking having five or more drinks in two hours for men or four or more drinks for women may put you at higher risk for atrial fibrillation, an irregular or quivering heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke and heart failure.
Heavy drinking may also prematurely age arteries over time, particularly in men, when compared to moderate drinkers.
Plus, all the extra calories from drinking alcohol can lead to obesity and a higher risk of developing diabetes.
How Much Does Beer Consumption Affect A Cholesterol Test
When a doctor orders a cholesterol test, patients are told to fast at least 12 hours before blood is draw. This means no eating or drinking for the 12 hour period, though some clinics will tell patients they can have water. Fasting is done because it allows the blood test to give the doctor an accurate depiction of what is in your blood without any factors that might alter the results and make the numbers appear higher or lower than they would otherwise be.
Now, if you made a mistake and had alcohol, such as beer or wine, during the 12 hours before your appointment, the integrity of the test is in serious jeopardy. Consuming any form of alcohol before having your cholesterol tested will cause the overall results to be wrong. This is because alcohol stimulates the liver, which in turn produces extra triglycerides.
These extra triglycerides will throw off the numbers on your cholesterol test, and in effect the final outcome of the test will be based on totally wrong information. In fact, most experts say to lay off the wine, beer, liquor and mixed drinks for 24 hours or more before a blood test is to be done.
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How Much Alcohol Is Safe To Drink
To stay in good health and avoid illness, the government recommends drinking no more than 14 units of alcohol per week, for men and women.
To keep the risks down:
- spread your units out across the week
- have some alcohol-free days
- avoid drinking more than six units in six hours, which counts as binge drinking thats less than three 175ml glasses of wine or three pints of beer.
If you have high cholesterol or FH, it should be OK to drink alcohol within these limits. There are some health problems and treatments which can mean its safer to avoid alcohol all together. Speak to your doctor or nurse about whats safe for you.
In the past, it was thought that drinking in moderation was good for your heart. Its now believed that the only possible benefits are for women over 55 when drinking 5 units a week or less, and the benefits are modest.
We dont recommend drinking alcohol to improve your health, as you will improve your health more by eating well and being active. With alcohol, the cons could out way the pros.
How much is a unit of alcohol?
A unit of alcohol is roughly the amount your body can clear from your blood in one hour. Its the equivalent of 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol.
Different drinks contain different amounts of alcohol, as some are stronger than others. For example, a 175ml glass of wine can contain anywhere between 1.9 and 2.4 units. It can be surprising how many units are in your favourite drinks, and how quickly they add up.
14 units is roughly:
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 – low-density lipoprotein – from arteries.
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Does Alcohol Affect Ldl Cholesterol
Due to alcohols processing through the same organ as cholesterol, it can raise cholesterol levels. instance, excessive drinking may increase the level of LDL cholesterol, which is considered bad dies show that excessive drinking may increase LDL levels, which is the bad type of cholesterol. As well as raising triglycerides, alcohol also raises blood pressure.
Wine + Cholesterol: What You Need To Know
Some advice for improving your health is very straightforward. For example, you should drink plenty of water each day and get regular exercise thats appropriate for your fitness level and goals. Theres no ambiguity there.
Other advice is more nuanced. A good example is the recommendation to drink wine or other alcohol to improve your heart health. Consuming wine can help raise your level of good cholesterol. Thats true. But its important to recognize all the ways that drinking alcohol affects your health.
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Will Drinking Alcohol Affect Cholesterol Levels
You will have higher levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in your blood if you drink alcohol. Too much triglyceride in the blood can cause fatty liver disease if it builds up in the liver. Due to insufficient liver function, cholesterol levels in the blood increase due to a failure to remove cholesterol from the blood.
Data Collection And Biochemical Measurements
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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Which Alcohol Is The Least Inflammatory
As for which alcohol causes the least amount of inflammation, wine appears to be better by comparison. For example, a review of 53 studies 10 found that both hard liquor and beer consumption were significantly associated with the risk of gout. Wine consumption was less common among patients with this condition.
Possible Health Benefits Of Alcohol
What are some of the possible health benefits associated with moderate alcohol consumption?
More than 100 prospective studies show an inverse association between light to moderate drinking and risk of heart attack, ischemic stroke, peripheral vascular disease, sudden cardiac death, and death from all cardiovascular causes. The effect is fairly consistent, corresponding to a 25-40% reduction in risk. However, increasing alcohol intake to more than 4 drinks a day can increase the risk of hypertension, abnormal heart rhythms, stroke, heart attack, and death.
Learn more about the results of some large prospective cohort studies of alcohol consumption and cardiovascular disease.
* compared with non-drinkers
The connection between moderate drinking and lower risk of cardiovascular disease has been observed in men and women. It applies to people who do not have heart disease, and also to those at high risk for having a heart attack or stroke or dying of cardiovascular disease, including those with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and existing cardiovascular disease. The benefits also extend to older individuals.
Drinking Patterns Matter
A review of alcohol consumption in women from the Nurses Health Study I and II found that smaller amounts of alcohol spread out over four or more days per week had the lowest death rates from any cause, compared with women who drank the same amount of alcohol but in one or two days.
Beyond the Heart
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Your Body Needs Just Enough Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that travels through your blood. At persistently elevated levels, its linked to an increased risk in heart disease. But cholesterol isnt a bad guy on its own. In fact, your body needs cholesterol to function properly.
The problem is, your body needs only a small amount of it, and your liver produces enough to meet your bodys needs.
Is Beer Bad For Heart Health
Beer generally gets a bad heart-health rap thanks to its calorie and sugar content. This raises your risk of obesity, particularly abdominal obesity, which in turn is a risk factor for high cholesterol. But the story isnt as clear-cut as it first seems, as beer may also confer some heart benefits.
One reason is that the barley, malt and hops used to brew beer contain polyphenols plant compounds that have been linked to lowering cholesterol levels and overall risk of heart disease. Beer is also a reasonable source of vitamin B6, a nutrient that helps dampen the effect of homocysteine, a blood chemical associated with a higher risk of heart disease.
Heavy drinking more than 14 units a week on a regular basis still carries strong health warnings. But there is some evidence suggesting that consuming moderate amounts of alcohol, including beer, may help protect against heart disease.
This protection is normally found in men over 40 and postmenopausal women. But in 2017, researchers from the University of Cambridge and University College London found that moderate drinkers were less likely to have a heart attack or stroke compared with both teetotalers and heavy drinkers. This protection was found in both men and women aged over 30.
Do light beers have any health benefits?
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The Effect Of Beer On Cholesterol And Triglycerides
There are not a lot of studies specifically examining how beer can affect your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Most studies include many types of alcoholic beverages to examine their effect on cholesterol, triglycerides, and heart health as a whole. In these studies, the type or brand of beer was not usually noted.
Studies have examined the consumption of beer products on lipids in amounts ranging from 60 to 340 mL daily for a duration between 4 and 6 weeks on average.
In some studies, people drinking at least one beer beverage a day saw an increase in healthy high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels by up to 11%. Additionally, unhealthy low-density lipoprotein levels in some studies were lowered by up to 18%, although some other studies did not see a significant decrease in LDL.
The manner in which beer may affect your lipid levels is not known.
One study showed that consuming one beer daily could reduce the oxidation of LDL. However, consumption of three or more beers daily actually promoted LDL oxidation. Studies have shown that oxidized LDL can promote inflammation of the inner lining of blood vessels and contribute to the formation of atherosclerosis, which leads to the development of cardiovascular disease.
How Do Beer And Alcohol Affect Your Cholesterol
38 percent of Americans suffer from high cholesterol1, 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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Does Alcohol Protect Against Heart Problems
Some studies have shown an association between moderate alcohol intake and a lower risk of dying from heart disease.
But its hard to determine cause and effect from those studies, says McEvoy. Perhaps people who sip red wine have higher incomes, which tend to be associated with more education and greater access to healthier foods. Similarly, red wine drinkers might be more likely to eat a heart-healthy diet.
There is some evidence that moderate amounts of alcohol might help to slightly raise levels of good HDL cholesterol. Researchers have also suggested that red wine, in particular, might protect the heart, thanks to the antioxidants it contains.
But you dont have to pop a cork to reap those benefits. Exercise can also boost HDL cholesterol levels, and antioxidants can be found in other foods, such as fruits, vegetables and grape juice
Health Risks From Alcohol
It appears that people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol have a lower risk of heart disease. However, the key there is moderate amounts. This means one drink for women and two drinks for men daily, with a drink being 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.
The problem is that alcohol is an addictive substance, and people who start drinking with heart health in mind may quickly find themselves consuming excessive amounts of it. If that occurs, their risk of several kinds of health problems increases. For example, drinking too much alcohol elevates the risk of high blood pressure and stroke, and it can also increase the level of unhealthy triglycerides in the blood.
Excessive alcohol consumption also raises your risk of certain types of cancer and cirrhosis of the liver. Plus, it increases your risk of many types of accidents, including car accidents. Plus, alcohol is high in calories, so drinking too much of it can cause you to gain weight, which increases your risk for other diseases like diabetes.
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What Are The Worst Foods For High Cholesterol
High-cholesterol foods to avoid Full-fat dairy. Whole milk, butter and full-fat yogurt and cheese are high in saturated fat. Red meat. Steak, beef roast, ribs, pork chops and ground beef tend to have high saturated fat and cholesterol content. Processed meat. Fried foods. Baked goods and sweets. Eggs. Shellfish. Lean meat.
Understanding Bad And Good Cholesterol
Its widely believed that the goal with cholesterol is simply to lower it, but thats not entirely true. While its recommended that you keep your total cholesterol level below 200 mg/dL, there are two components of cholesterol to consider: LDL and HDL .
LDL is bad cholesterol, and you should try to keep that number below 100 mg/dL. But HDL is good cholesterol, and you want to raise it if its below 60 mg/dL and maintain it above that level.
Alcohol can help you increase your HDL level, with red wine being particularly helpful. Plus, it contains antioxidants called polyphenols that may help protect the lining of blood vessels in the heart. One polyphenol that may be especially helpful is resveratrol.
But heres where the nuance comes in: Doctors generally dont recommend that people start drinking red wine, given that there are several risks associated with alcohol consumption . However, if youre already enjoying a glass of red wine with your dinner, continuing to do so may help your heart health.
How Healthy is Your Heart?
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Is Wine A Better Option
Weve all heard the news that a glass of red wine a day may be good for you, but research suggests that other forms of alcohol may also be beneficial.
Red wine has been extensively studied. In moderate amounts its been shown to reduce cancer, heart disease, depression, dementia, and type 2 diabetes. Moderate intake of beer has also been shown to reduce heart disease and stroke risk.
While beer does contain some antioxidants like red wine, the specific ones found in barley and hops are different than those found in wine grapes. Its still unclear if beer antioxidants offer the same benefits that those in red wine do, though preliminary research is promising.
Overall though, its how often and how much you drink not what you drink that really seems to affect your heart.
One large study showed that men who were moderate drinkers were 30 to 35 percent less likely to have a heart attack when compared with people who didnt drink at all.
And men who drank every day had a lower risk compared to those who drank only once or twice a week. This included men who drank wine, spirits, and, of course, beer.