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Metabolic and biochemical effects of low-to-moderate alcohol consumption.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Alcohol consumption has multiple biochemical consequences. Only a few of these are useful as diagnostic markers, but many reflect potentially harmful or beneficial effects of alcohol. Average consumption of 2 to 4 drinks per day is associated with lower overall or cardiovascular mortality risk than either lower or higher intake. We have analyzed the dose-response relationships between reported alcohol consumption and 17 biomarkers, with emphasis on intake of up to 3 drinks per day.

METHODS

Biochemical tests were performed on serum from 8,396 study participants (3,750 men and 4,646 women, aged 51 ± 13 years, range 18 to 93) who had provided information on alcohol consumption in the week preceding blood collection.

RESULTS

Gamma glutamyl transferase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, carbohydrate-deficient transferrin, urate, ferritin, and bilirubin showed little or no change with alcohol consumption below 2 to 3 drinks per day, but increased with higher intake. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol and albumin showed increasing results, and insulin showed decreasing results, across the entire range of alcohol use. Biphasic responses, where subjects reporting 1 to 2 drinks per day had lower results than those reporting either more or less alcohol use, occurred for triglycerides, glucose, C-reactive protein, alkaline phosphatase, and butyrylcholinesterase. Increasing alcohol use was associated with decreasing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in younger women, but higher LDL-C in older men.

CONCLUSIONS

Some markers show threshold relationships with alcohol, others show continuous ones, and a third group show biphasic or U-shaped relationships. Overall, the biochemical sequelae of low-to-moderate alcohol use are consistent with the epidemiological evidence on morbidity and mortality.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    ,

    Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. John.Whitfield@qimr.edu.au

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    Source

    MeSH

    Adolescent
    Adult
    Aged
    Aged, 80 and over
    Alcohol Drinking
    Biomarkers
    Cholesterol, LDL
    Female
    Humans
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Retrospective Studies
    Young Adult

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    23134229

    Citation

    Whitfield, John B., et al. "Metabolic and Biochemical Effects of Low-to-moderate Alcohol Consumption." Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, vol. 37, no. 4, 2013, pp. 575-86.
    Whitfield JB, Heath AC, Madden PA, et al. Metabolic and biochemical effects of low-to-moderate alcohol consumption. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2013;37(4):575-86.
    Whitfield, J. B., Heath, A. C., Madden, P. A., Pergadia, M. L., Montgomery, G. W., & Martin, N. G. (2013). Metabolic and biochemical effects of low-to-moderate alcohol consumption. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 37(4), pp. 575-86. doi:10.1111/acer.12015.
    Whitfield JB, et al. Metabolic and Biochemical Effects of Low-to-moderate Alcohol Consumption. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2013;37(4):575-86. PubMed PMID: 23134229.
    * Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
    TY - JOUR T1 - Metabolic and biochemical effects of low-to-moderate alcohol consumption. AU - Whitfield,John B, AU - Heath,Andrew C, AU - Madden,Pamela A F, AU - Pergadia,Michele L, AU - Montgomery,Grant W, AU - Martin,Nicholas G, Y1 - 2012/11/07/ PY - 2012/03/14/received PY - 2012/08/12/accepted PY - 2012/11/9/entrez PY - 2012/11/9/pubmed PY - 2013/12/29/medline SP - 575 EP - 86 JF - Alcoholism, clinical and experimental research JO - Alcohol. Clin. Exp. Res. VL - 37 IS - 4 N2 - BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption has multiple biochemical consequences. Only a few of these are useful as diagnostic markers, but many reflect potentially harmful or beneficial effects of alcohol. Average consumption of 2 to 4 drinks per day is associated with lower overall or cardiovascular mortality risk than either lower or higher intake. We have analyzed the dose-response relationships between reported alcohol consumption and 17 biomarkers, with emphasis on intake of up to 3 drinks per day. METHODS: Biochemical tests were performed on serum from 8,396 study participants (3,750 men and 4,646 women, aged 51 ± 13 years, range 18 to 93) who had provided information on alcohol consumption in the week preceding blood collection. RESULTS: Gamma glutamyl transferase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, carbohydrate-deficient transferrin, urate, ferritin, and bilirubin showed little or no change with alcohol consumption below 2 to 3 drinks per day, but increased with higher intake. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol and albumin showed increasing results, and insulin showed decreasing results, across the entire range of alcohol use. Biphasic responses, where subjects reporting 1 to 2 drinks per day had lower results than those reporting either more or less alcohol use, occurred for triglycerides, glucose, C-reactive protein, alkaline phosphatase, and butyrylcholinesterase. Increasing alcohol use was associated with decreasing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in younger women, but higher LDL-C in older men. CONCLUSIONS: Some markers show threshold relationships with alcohol, others show continuous ones, and a third group show biphasic or U-shaped relationships. Overall, the biochemical sequelae of low-to-moderate alcohol use are consistent with the epidemiological evidence on morbidity and mortality. SN - 1530-0277 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/23134229/full_citation L2 - https://doi.org/10.1111/acer.12015 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -