28 September 2023 In Cardiovascular System

Wine is a complex matrix consisting primarily of water (86%) and ethyl alcohol (12%), as well as other different molecules, such as polyphenols, organic acids, tannins, compound minerals, vitamins and biologically active compounds which play an important role in the specific characteristics of each wine. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, moderate red wine consumption-defined as up to two units of alcohol per day for men and up to one unit of alcohol per day for women-significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease which represents the major causes of mortality, and disability, in developed countries. We reviewed the available literature concerning the potential relationship between moderate red wine consumption and cardiovascular health. We searched Medline, Scopus and Web of Science (WOS) for randomized controlled studies and case-control studies published from 2002 to 2022. A total of 27 articles were selected for the review. According to epidemiological evidence, drinking red wine in moderation lowers the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Red wine contains both alcoholic and non-alcoholic ingredients; however, it is yet unclear which is to blame for these effects. Combining wine with the diet of healthy individuals may add additional benefits. New studies should focus more on the characterization of the individual components of wine, to allow the analysis and study of the impact of each of them on the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.

28 September 2023 In Cardiovascular System

BACKGROUND: Alcohol consumption may increase blood pressure but the details of the relationship are incomplete, particularly for the association at low levels of alcohol consumption, and no meta-analyses are available for nonexperimental cohort studies.

METHODS: We performed a systematic search of longitudinal studies in healthy adults that reported on the association between alcohol intake and blood pressure. Our end points were the mean differences over time of systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP), plotted according to baseline alcohol intake, by using a dose-response 1-stage meta-analytic methodology.

RESULTS: Seven studies, with 19 548 participants and a median follow-up of 5.3 years (range, 4-12 years), were included in the analysis. We observed a substantially linear positive association between baseline alcohol intake and changes over time in SBP and DBP, with no suggestion of an exposure-effect threshold. Overall, average SBP was 1.25 and 4.90 mm Hg higher for 12 or 48 grams of daily alcohol consumption, compared with no consumption. The corresponding differences for DBP were 1.14 and 3.10 mm Hg. Subgroup analyses by sex showed an almost linear association between baseline alcohol intake and SBP changes in both men and women, and for DBP in men while in women we identified an inverted U-shaped association. Alcohol consumption was positively associated with blood pressure changes in both Asians and North Americans, apart from DBP in the latter group.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest the association between alcohol consumption and SBP is direct and linear with no evidence of a threshold for the association, while for DBP the association is modified by sex and geographic location.

23 November 2022 In General Health

BACKGROUND: Alcohol is a discretionary, energy dense, dietary component. Compared to non-drinkers, people who consume alcohol report higher total energy intake and may be at increased risk of weight gain, overweight, and obesity, which are key preventable risk factors for illness. However, accurate consumer knowledge of the energy content in alcohol is low. To inform future behaviour change interventions among drinkers, this study investigated individual characteristics associated with changing alcohol consumption due to energy-related concerns.

METHODS: An online survey was undertaken with 801 Australian adult drinkers (18-59 years, 50.2% female), i.e. who consumed alcohol at least monthly. In addition to demographic and health-related characteristics, participants reported past-year alcohol consumption, past-year reductions in alcohol consumption, frequency of harm minimisation strategy use (when consuming alcohol), and frequency of changing alcohol consumption behaviours because of energy-related concerns.

RESULTS: When prompted, 62.5% of participants reported changing alcohol consumption for energy-related reasons at least 'sometimes'. Women, those aged 30-44 years, metropolitan residents, those with household income $80,001-120,000, and risky/more frequent drinkers had increased odds of changing consumption because of energy-related concerns, and unemployed respondents had reduced odds.

CONCLUSIONS: Results indicate that some sociodemographic groups are changing alcohol consumption for energy-related reasons, but others are not, representing an underutilised opportunity for health promotion communication. Further research should investigate whether messaging to increase awareness of alcohol energy content, including through systems-based policy actions such as nutritional/energy product labelling, would motivate reduced consumption across a broader range of drinkers.

23 November 2022 In Cancer

There is evidence that diet and nutrition are modifiable risk factors for several cancers, but associations may be flawed due to inherent biases. Nutritional epidemiology studies have largely relied on a single assessment of diet using food frequency questionnaires. We conduct an umbrella review of meta-analyses of observational studies to evaluate the strength and validity of the evidence for the association between food/nutrient intake and risk of developing or dying from 11 primary cancers. It is estimated that only few single food/nutrient and cancer associations are supported by strong or highly suggestive meta-analytic evidence, and future similar research is unlikely to change this evidence. Alcohol consumption is positively associated with risk of postmenopausal breast, colorectal, esophageal, head & neck and liver cancer. Consumption of dairy products, milk, calcium and wholegrains are inversely associated with colorectal cancer risk. Coffee consumption is inversely associated with risk of liver cancer and skin basal cell carcinoma.

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