Regular Moderate Alcohol Consumption Reduces the Incidence of Cardiovascular Diseases: Review of Evidences and Plausible Mechanisms
Background: Inappropriate consumption of alcohol contributes to the occurrence of chronic diseases, social and economic burdens though moderate consumption is proven to be beneficial. Moderate alcohol consumption is generally considered to be in the range of 1-3 drinks/day. Objective: The present narrative review was aimed to disclose the putative mechanisms of cardioprotective role of moderate alcohol consumption. Design: Narrative review of published studies. Evidence acquisition: This review was conducted by collecting clinical, epidemiological and translational research evidences from PubMed, Google scholar and Cochrane databases. Results: Several clinical and epidemiological studies outlined that drinking regularly of moderate amount of alcohol might decrease the incidence of debilitating cardiovascular diseases. Moderate Alcohol consumption increases high-density lipoproteins and reduces the oxidation of low density lipoprotein. It has also a capacity to induce the expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and synthesis of nitric oxide. In addition, moderate alcohol consumption induces the expression of putative cardio-protective proteins in the heart during ischemic conditions. Furthermore, it reduces unnecessary platelet aggregation and blood coagulation, facilitates smooth muscle cell proliferation during vascular insult, enhances insulin sensitivity and probably plays its cardioprotective role by reducing acute and chronic psychosocial stress which exerts allostatic load not only on cardiovascular system but also on the body. Conclusion: Cardiovascular diseases, Ethanol, Moderate ethanol consumption.