Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Alcohol increases good cholesterol, but does it actually do anything

We all know that moderate alcohol consumption is good for cardiovascular health. At least that is what I keep telling myself. One of the theories is that alcohol consumption can increase HDL (good) cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is somehow able to entice cholesterol out of the cells. This is called cholesterol efflux (CHE). This is then transported away from cells of the body to the liver. This is referred to as reverse cholesterol transport (RCT). This the theory behind cardiovascular protective effects of HDL cholesterol.
In this study, healthy male subjects were either given 36g of alcohol daily or nothing. This alcohol was given in the form of 1 LITER OF BEER! Since the study was conducted in Prague, there is a good chance they got Pilsner Urquell. After four weeks, HDL concentration increased by 7.2%. However CHE did not change significantly. So what does this mean? Well, alcohol consumption can increase your good cholesterol, but it might not be doing you any good. It won't stop me though

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