Moderate drinking may improve cholesterol levels – Research
A new research team – from Pennsylvania State University and Kailuan Hospital in China, the team recently presented their findings at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016, in New Orleans, LA, has offered further support for the possible heart health benefits of moderate drinking, after findings show that consuming up to two alcoholic beverages daily may slow the decline of “good” high-density lipoprotein cholesterol,
and there are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Referred to as the “bad” cholesterol, LDL cholesterol can cause a buildup of plaque in the arteries at high levels – a condition known as atherosclerosis. This can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
HDL cholesterol helps remove LDL cholesterol from the arteries, carrying it back to liver, where it is broken down and removed from the body. This process can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, earning HDL the title of “good” cholesterol. According to the Mayo Clinic, optimal levels of HDL for both men and women are 1.6 millimoles per liter or above. Levels below 1.3 millimoles per liter for women or 1 millimole per liter for men may raise the risk of high LDL cholesterol, and subsequently, greater risk of heart attack and stroke. Lifestyle interventions, such as adopting a healthy diet, engaging in physical activity, and quitting smoking, have been shown to increase HDL levels. Now, new research suggests moderate alcohol intake might also benefit HDL levels, and the team however said that further research is needed to determine whether moderate alcohol intake is beneficial for HDL cholesterol among other populations, and to determine whether the slower HDL reduction with alcohol consumption is associated with clinically relevant outcomes.