Controversy as to which lipoprotein subfraction of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) increases during alcohol consumption prompted the current study of the effects of two alcohol doses over varying time intervals on plasma lipoproteins and lipolytic enzymes. Measurements were made in 49 healthy men before and after three weeks of abstinence from alcohol and after consumption of one or three 12-ounce cans of beer per day. We found that HDL (10%), HDL2 (14%), and HDL3 (9%) cholesterol, and apolipoprotein A-I (7%) decreased with abstinence from alcohol and then increased with its consumption. These increases were not significant until after 3 weeks of daily alcohol intake, but they were significant in both the one-can and three-cans of beer per day groups. In the 23 inactive subjects HDL and HDL2 cholesterol decreased with abstinence but did not increase significantly with alcohol intake. Lipolytic enzymes were not changed by alcohol manipulation, but the level of lipoprotein lipase was higher and that of hepatic lipase was lower at each measurement point in the 26 habitually active versus the 23 inactive subjects. Adjustment for weight or skinfold thickness did not affect lipoprotein changes over time within groups but did eliminate many of the differences between activity groups. Alcohol consumption seems to be related to possibly beneficial influences on plasma HDL and HDL2 cholesterol, and may thus impact the risk of heart disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism