Here is some health advice that we can all get excited about. Recent research is showing a stronger casual link between alcohol consumption and coronary health.
Before we get into the details let me say a few words. Drinking in this article will be defined as no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men. Thus, we are not promoting in any way heavy drinking. Further, if you do not already drink do not start drinking because of this article. Most of the research in this area is new, and though it comes from prestigious institutions it is still not fully understood.
A Spanish study of over 40, 000 people and lasted 10 years was conducted to determine the effects that alcohol consumption patterns have on heart health. As we discussed in a previous post on cholesterol, LDL can have detrimental effects on one’s coronary health by promoting the developments of atheromas. Well, the study concluded that the consumption of alcohol does seem to offer very concrete protection against coronary heart disease.
The reason for this protection is that alcohol seems to raise HDL levels, lower blood pressure, and helps prevent arterial damage caused by high levels of LDL. More significantly but not mentioned in the above linked article, wine is said to have a more compound effect because of its high polyphenol content. Polyphenols are potent antioxidants and as we discussed previously, this class of substances in our bodies helps to prevent premature cell oxidation which is enhanved by LDL. Wine will be covered in a later post.
Alcohol in general though lowers the size of LDL particles in general though and this is how it helps prevent coronary heart disease. Think of it this way. Our arteries are small tubes, and LDL particles being the largest cholesterol particles of the four we discussed previously, can clog these small tubes easily. The larger the particle size the easier the clogging happens. This clogging can lead to stroke, heart attack, infarction etc. So, if we reduce the size of the particles then there is a smaller chance that they will be given the opportunity to clog our arteries, oxidize, and form legions.
So, the next time you are at dinner or at home pouring a glass of wine, don’t feel as guilty. You may actually be doing your body a service by fighting LDL and lowering your blood pressure. Again, don’t go binge or heavy drinking, this will eventually destroy your liver. A glass or two is what we are after.
Be sure and check out the two links two the studies referenced in this post. They are both linked above.
Till next time, live well, be fit.