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Drinking Alcohol and Cholesterol Control
- Drinking alcohol can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels if used in moderation
- There’s a direct link between alcohol and high cholesterol. It works to increase “good” cholesterol levels (HDL cholesterol) but is also responsible for most cases of heart disease
- Moderation is one or two drinks per day
The relationship between alcohol and high cholesterol is an important consideration to take in to account when treating and preventing heart disease and high blood pressure. The good news is that alcohol can actually have a positive effect on cholesterol levels if used in moderation. The key to this is moderation and what exactly does moderation mean when talking about alcohol consumption. While there can be a positive relationship between alcohol and cholesterol caution should be used and alcohol should not be considered a cure for high cholesterol.
Studies have shown that there is a direct link between alcohol and high cholesterol. What most people would not guess is that the link between alcohol and cholesterol can actually be a beneficial one if the alcohol is used responsibly. Alcohol actually works to increase good cholesterol while at the same time not having an effect of bad cholesterol. It is widely known that high cholesterol levels are responsible for most cases of heart disease and the medical community is working very hard to educate the public against the dangers of high cholesterol. There are many diets out there now that are designed to help the individual lower bad cholesterol and raise the good cholesterol numbers. One of the elements of a diet can be alcohol if used responsibly and in moderation.
Most experts agree that the definition for moderation is one or two drinks per day. This is obviously a guideline and not an across the board rule. There are many factors that go in to what amount is the right amount for an individual. Women, who are typically lighter and have less muscle mass than men cannot tolerate the same amount of alcohol as most men. Alcohol and high cholesterol are related and in a beneficial way.
The obvious danger inherent in the use of alcohol is the many adverse effects of alcohol and whether the benefit received from alcohol is great enough to offset the dangers involved with alcohol. After all, what good is low cholesterol for the alcoholic? Alcohol also has dangerous interactions with many medications and can make some medicines ineffective. Alcohol is known to cause cirrhosis of the liver which in many cases caused premature death. Alcohol and metabolism of alcohol is very difficult for the liver to handle. Once the liver absorbs as much alcohol as it can, any additional alcohol destroys liver cells.
Alcohol and metabolism are also important relationships to take in to consideration by both individuals and health professionals. Alcohol has many effects on medications. With this in mind, if a person already has high cholesterol and is taking medication to control his or her cholesterol levels and even though alcohol consumption is beneficial to cholesterol levels it may also at the same time make the patients cholesterol medication ineffective, resulting in an actual gain in cholesterol numbers.
Alcohol and cholesterol have a tenuous cause and effect interaction and if used with caution the use of alcohol can make a small difference. The effects of alcohol and metabolism however may render any benefits of alcohol use negligible.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Drinking and Smoking10 Dec 2008|