Relationship between Alcohol and HDL (Good Cholesterol)

When arteriosclerosis progresses, blood clots develop in blood vessels, resulting in various conditions such as ischemic heart disease and cerebral infarction. This arteriosclerosis is encouraged by increased cholesterol levels, which are a type of fat in the blood. Cholesterol has good (HDL) and bad (LDL) type, and arteriosclerosis is more likely to occur when the balance is lost and the number of bad type increases.

Cross-sectional studies

It has been revealed that SAKE (alcohol consumption) increases HDL. A study on the relationship between alcohol intake and good cholesterol (HDL) is a data analysis of 1.3 million human docks conducted by a group at Tokyo Jikei Medical University in 2017 (Wada et al., General Health Checkup 2017; 44:671-676). Among them, the relationship between the amount of alcohol ingested and the value of HDL is shown in men.

Daily intake of alcohol and value of HDL cholesterol (average +/- SD).

In the longitudinal study

More than 70,000 Chinese adults have been observed with alcohol intake and good cholesterol (HDL) values over a period of six years (Huang et al., Am J. Clin Nutr 2017; 105:905-912). Overall, HDL decreased year by year, but the degree of decline was the slowest in the moderate drinking group (15-30 g of alcohol intake per day). This means that drinking a small amount keeps HDL level.

Never, alcohol intake-free; Past, ingested in the past; Light, 15 g/day or less; Modeate, 15-30 g/day; Heavy, 30 g/day or more (for men)

bias until it becomes a paper

In determineing whether the content of a paper is a “universal truth,” it is important to understand bias until the paper is published. In other word, there is a fact that it is easy to be published as a paper when there is an impact. For example, in a paper that says “HDL values are related to life” and “HDL values have nothing to do with life”, the former has a greater impact on readers. In other words, there is always a bias that is a little different from previous established theories and is easy to publish as a paper with content that is not unacceptable. There is a current situation that data that “HDL and alcohol intake are not related” is less likely to be a paper. On the contrary, when interpreting a paper that is related, it is necessary to consider various things including such bias.

As an example, there are three reports that cognitive impairment and alcohol intake are positively correlated, negatively correlated, and not correlated, but the largest number of papers indicates a positive correlation. This may be because it is more likely to be a paper if there is a positive correlation, or it may be because it is true that there is a positive correlation. Perhaps, the tendency changes depending on the race or the type of alcohol. In relation to HDL and alcohol intake, there are reports of positive correlations, but no negative reports. In the end, I assume that the positive correlation is correct.