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Alcoholism and Cholesterol

Updated on July 1, 2012

Do you often wonder, what is the link between alcohol and cholesterol? And how does alcohol affect your cholesterol levels? Moderate consumption of alcohol does more good rather than bad, however abusing alcohol consumption can lead you into trouble.

Research studies have shown that moderate consumption of alcohol helps increases good cholesterol in the blood by 4 mg/dl, and in turn helps decrease the probability of heart diseases. On the contrary drinking too much alcohol can cause an alarming increase in the amount of triglycerides in the body that will harm the liver, heart, and brain. If drinking alcohol goes out of control, the health risks will outweigh the presently known benefits.

When doctors recommend moderate drinking, they mean that men set their glass down after 2 drinks and women at one. As the alcohol content in various drinks varies, here are a few examples of what constitutes a drink.

One 12 oz can of beer.

11/2 oz of 80 proof liquor, or 1 oz of 100 proof liquor

5 oz of wine

Excessive drinking as stated earlier can make you vulnerable to strokes, and heart diseases; thus increasing the risk of heart related death. Drinking alcohol is also known to increase the risk of some types of cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, and also lead to obesity. The most common ailments that result from over consumption of alcohol are arrhythmia and congestive heart failure. One cannot dismiss the fact that the maximum number of accidents on the road is also a direct result of driving under the influence of alcohol.

While consuming moderate amounts of alcohol does help regulate cholesterol levels, it is not prudent for non drinkers to start drinking. If you are a moderate drinker, you can continue to consume alcohol in moderation and reap its benefits. And for all those non drinkers out there, a good diet and regular exercise can do wonders in improving your overall health and keeping bad cholesterol at bay.


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