General Health

Moderate wine drinkers have a lower risk to die from any cause (lower total  mortality risk) than those who abstain or drink heavily. This widely accepted association is known as the J-curve. This J-curve is attributable to the beneficial effect on cardiovascular health which compensates the negative effects of some cancers resulting in a lower risk to die from any possible cause. The relative risk of dying is lowest among light to moderate drinkers and increased among abstainers. However, the risk increases dramatically with each drink above moderation. Thus, while one or two glasses can be considered “good for your health”, drinking more than what guidelines suggest will not provide more benefits, only more harm.


If consumed in excess, alcoholic beverages increase the exposure to a wide range of risk factors whereby the risk rises with the amount of alcohol consumed. Thus, it is crucial to prevent abusive consumption. Alcohol abuse is associated with a range of long-term chronic diseases that reduce the quality of life. These include hypertension, cardiovascular problems, cirrhosis of the liver, alcohol dependence, various forms of cancer, alcohol-related brain damage and a range of other problems. Not only the amount of alcohol but also the drinking patterns are important. Findings from a meta analysis support results from other studies that binge drinking is detrimental to heart health. The authors concluded that it is best for drinkers to avoid binge drinking -- not only because of the possible heart effects, but also because of more immediate risks, like accidents and violence.


In addition to health issues resulting from excessive alcohol consumption, there are social consequences, both for the drinker and for others in the community. The consequences include harm to family members (including children), to friends and colleagues as well as to bystanders and strangers.


The above summary provides an overview of the topic, for more details and specific questions, please refer to the articles in the database.



To evaluate how the peripheral release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, cholecystokinin, and beta-endorphin is involved in drinking behavior, blood concentrations of these neurotransmitters were followed in 40 healthy young volunteers during the first hour after ingestion of a moderate dose of some common alcoholic beverages (champagne, still white wine) as compared to water. Concerning serotonin levels, two groups of subjects are statistically distinct: one with low basal serotonin levels (< 620 nmol/L) which responded with an increase in serotonin (52% in 10 minutes), and a second group with higher basal serotonin levels (> 620 nmol/L) which responded with a decrease ( 190% in 60 minutes). Variations in serotonin concentrations appear to depend upon the alcoholic content of the…
Background/Objectives:Alcohol and dietary fat have high energy densities and may therefore be related to body weight and fat deposition. We studied associations between alcohol and macronutrient intake patterns and general and central adiposity.Subjects/Methods:A population-based cross-sectional study of 524 men and 611 women. The participants answered a dietary questionnaire describing habitual food consumption including intake of alcoholic beverages. Macronutrient intake was analysed in relation to anthropometric measures and dual energy X-ray absorptiometry determined body fat.Results:In women, total alcohol intake was negatively associated with body fat percentage (beta:-0.67, P<0.01). In men, total alcohol intake was positively associated with sagittal abdominal diameter (SAD) (beta: 0.28, P=0.01). In addition, positive associations were found between intake of alcohol from spirits and body fat percentage (beta:…
The association between alcohol consumption and psoriasis has been frequently discussed since the 1980s, but no systematic review has been elaborated on the subject so far. The aim of this systematic literature review was to assess whether alcohol consumption is more prevalent in psoriasis patients than in the general population and whether alcohol consumption is a risk factor of psoriasis. A systematic literature search was carried out in the Medline, Embase and Cochrane databases using the keywords 'psoriasis' AND 'alcohol drinking' OR 'alcohol-related disorders'. The search was then enlarged with the keywords 'psoriasis' AND 'risk factor' OR 'comorbidity'. Altogether 911 references in English and French were found. Out of these, 837 articles were excluded by reading the abstract and 46…
PURPOSE: Wine consumption has been related to a reduced cardiovascular risk. This effect has been attributed partly to the healthier diet of wine drinkers. We compared food habits according to alcoholic beverage preference in a Mediterranean population. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study of a large sample of participants at high risk for cardiovascular disease. SETTING: Primary care centers in a Mediterranean country, Spain. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 1675 men aged 55 to 80 years old and 2150 women aged 60 to 80 years old who had no documented cardiovascular disease but had either diabetes or at least three major cardiovascular risk factors. MEASURES: A food frequency questionnaire, alcoholic beverage consumption, adherence to Mediterranean diet, age, family history of cardiovascular disease, smoking,…
The purpose of this double clinical study was (1) to evaluate the effect of one single intake (300 ml) of red wine (RW) on the plasma antioxidant capacity (pAOC) and plasma phenolics over the 24-h time period following the intake, and (2) to compare the long-term effects of daily intakes (250 ml/d) of RW, white wine (WW) and Champagne (CH) on the plasma and LDL characteristics of healthy subjects. In the first part, blood samples were collected just before and after wine consumption. In the second part, subjects received the 3 types of wine successively, only at the mealtime, over 3-week periods separated by a 3-week wash out. Blood samples were drawn in fasting condition before and after each 3-week…
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