Assessment of the impact of hereditary factors on biochemical parameters of cardiovascular risk in relation to moderate alcohol consumption

19 Jun 2020

Alcohol intake is associated with variation in many biochemical markers and metabolic processes implicated in car- diovascular disease (CVD) and other non-communicable diseases associated with advanced aging. Some changes are beneficial, while others may be harmful in relation to individual differences in genetic background. The objective of this study was to compare the effects of alternative moderate consumption of red wine and brandy on the lipid profile in the same experimental population of healthy adults and to identify genetic risk factors that may contribute to differences in response. An 8-week ran- domised crossover intervention study of red wine versus brandy consumption was performed in 37 healthy volunteers (19 males and 18 females) between the ages of 26 and 71 years. The assessments included anthropometric measurements, biochemical determinations and genetic analysis using a multi-gene CVD test. The level of total glutathione as an indicator of antioxidant capacity was significantly decreased only after the brandy intervention when compared to the baseline (p = 0.002). Both the brandy and wine intervention resulted in a significant increase in HDL-cholesterol (p < 0.001). Significant differential effects were shown in relation to genetic variation in the APOE (p = 0.027) and MTHFR (p = 0.048) genes, known to be associated with hyper-responsiveness to alcohol intake. Novel findings included a statistically significant increase of both total cholesterol (p = 0.016) and triglyceride (p = 0.022) levels with alcohol intake only in individuals who tested positive for the low-penetrance H63D and/or C282Y mutations in the HFE gene. This study confirmed the well-established protective effect of moderate alcohol consumption on the lipid profile, especially red wine. Since the genetic background influences the effect of alcohol on biochemical parameters of CVD risk, safe limits of wine and brandy consumption may in future be based partly on the genetic profile.