A study from Boston University reveals that alcohol’s impact on heart health is nuanced, with both positive and negative effects depending on specific metabolites. Researchers identified 60 alcohol-associated circulating metabolites that exhibit contrasting influences on heart disease risk, challenging a simplistic black-and-white perspective.
Alcohol consumption influences cardiovascular risk based on metabolites
The recent research from Boston University and Tufts University challenges the belief that moderate alcohol consumption reduces cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Contrary to prior suggestions, the study indicates potential hazards to heart health associated with moderate drinking, highlighting the need for a deeper understanding of the complex relationship between alcohol and cardiovascular well-being.
The study suggests that alcohol consumption may influence cardiovascular risk, with the outcome dependent on the presence of specific circulating metabolites. Metabolites are molecules formed before or after substance metabolism and are commonly examined as disease biomarkers.
In a comprehensive study, researchers identified 60 metabolites associated with alcohol consumption. Notably, seven metabolites circulating in the body showed a correlation between moderate alcohol intake and an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. Conversely, three other circulating metabolites were linked to the same drinking pattern but exhibited a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
The research findings offer an enhanced comprehension of the molecular pathway associated with prolonged alcohol consumption. Additionally, the study underscores the necessity for additional research on these metabolites to enhance targeted prevention and treatment strategies for alcohol-related cardiovascular disease.
Alcohol alters metabolomics profiles of individuals increasing risk
Dr. Liu, assistant professor of biostatistics at BUSPH, reveals that alcohol consumption can alter metabolomic profiles, leading to potential benefits or harm. The study, co-authored by Dr. Ma, from the Friedman School, focuses on moderate alcohol consumers, contributing valuable insights to the ongoing discourse on the link between moderate alcohol intake and heart health.
Researchers identified 60 drinking-related metabolites, with 13 exhibiting a stronger link to alcohol consumption in women than men. This discrepancy is attributed to women’s smaller body size, potentially leading to higher blood alcohol concentration after consuming equal amounts of alcohol compared to men.