Latest scientific news 04 December 2013

Moderate drinking can reduce the risk of the metabolic syndrome (MetS)

US researchers found that the consumption of alcoholic beverages may protect against the development of Metabolic Syndrome, in particular among overweight and/or obese individuals.

Few studies have so far evaluated the effects of alcohol consumption on the incidence of the metabolic syndrome. Given the high prevalence of the MetS (23% in the US population), which increases the risk of developing type-2-diabetes and cardiovascular disease, it is important to understand the modifiable factors that can slow the progression of this disorder. Scientists from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Miami (USA) evaluated in a prospective study among 7483 men the association between the consumption of alcoholic beverage and the incidence of MetS.  After taking into account the influence of factors such as cardio-respiratory fitness, BMI, age and baseline health status, a significant inverse relationship between the consumption of alcoholic beverages with the development of MetS was found. The benefits of alcohol remained significant regardless of the type of alcoholic beverage. In particular, this effect was observed in overweight and/or obese individuals and in those who had pre-existing risk factors for the MetS.

Stoutenberg M et al, Prospective studyA prospective study (sometimes called a prospective cohort study) is a type of cohort study or grou... of alcohol consumption and the incidence of the metabolic syndrome in US men, Br J Nutr 2013, 110: 901-910.