High cholesterol: The alcoholic drink shown to be ‘particularly beneficial’ for bad lipids

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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High cholesterol is diagnosed with there are too many lipids circulating in the bloodstream. Over time, these gradually collect on the inner lining of the arteries, causing the walls to narrow and harden. While alcohol is a well-known contributor to poor cardiovascular health, one type of beverage may actually offer protection by lowering LDL cholesterol.

Cholesterol is carried by two different types of protein; low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein.

The latter is dubbed the “bad” cholesterol because it contributes to the padding of arterial walls. The former, on the other hand, helps rid the body of it.

The relationship between alcohol and cholesterol is a topic of heated debate, but there is evidence some people with high cholesterol may profit from drinking moderate amounts of red wine.

This is partially due to the fact that red wine contains higher levels of natural plant chemical resveratrol, which protects the arterial walls from damage.

READ MORE: High cholesterol: Swapping meat for veggie alternatives can help – easy diet changes

The Mayo Clinic says: “Resveratrol might help prevent damage to blood vessels, reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and prevent blood clots.”

One study that explored the effects of the antioxidant was published in the journal of Clinical Hemorheology and Microcirculation in 2012.

For their study, researchers experimented with using low doses of resveratrol in 40 patients with coronary disease.

The authors observed that resveratrol intake displayed “significantly lowered low-density lipoprotein low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels”.

They also saw improved endothelial function, which helps control blood clotting, and immune function.

Certain types of alcohol have been shown to raise HDL cholesterol, thereby lowering “bad” levels.

Red wine, however, is supposedly the most beneficial because of its polyphenol antioxidants.

Everyday Health writes: “Alcohol may raise levels of good HDL cholesterol by as much as five to 15 percent, research showed.

“Red wine is particularly beneficial because its polyphenol antioxidants may also lower LDL levels.”

According to the Westmed Family Healthcare website, moderation is key to achieving healthy cholesterol levels.

“Drinking more hard liquor, beer, mixed drinks, and excess red wine have a negative impact on your cholesterol levels,” explains the health platform.

When alcohol is consumed, it is broken down inside the liver and subsequently, turned into triglycerides.

In a similar fashion to LDL cholesterol, triglycerides contribute to the padding and hardening of the inner arteries.

The fat can also build up in the liver, which helps pave the way to fatty liver disease.

It should be noted that while there is some evidence supporting the cholesterol-lowering effects of alcohol, the jury is still out on whether drinking helps.

The findings of multiple studies suggest the beneficial effects on LDL cholesterol could be exerted by the higher antioxidant activity of red wine.

For healthy adults, drinking in moderation means one glass of red wine a day for women of all ages, and one for men older than age 65, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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