Current Atherosclerosis Reports

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 108–114 | Cite as

Effects of Ethanol Intake on Lipoproteins

Coronary Heart Disease (J Farmer, Section Editor)


These review discuses the effects of ethanol on lipoprotein levels and function as related to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD), with special emphasis on recent publications. Ethanol’s effects on high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides (TG), and other CVD risk factors recently have been explored. Other new data address genetic and demographic predictors and mechanisms of these responses. Not surprisingly, the results of some recent studies corroborate, whereas others differ from, earlier seemingly well-established findings. Prior and recent evidence shows favorable changes in HDL, other CVD risk factors, and CVD event rates with moderate, regular ethanol intake, and recent publications have explored the mechanisms of this relationship. Application of these findings in clinical practice remains problematic, however, due to the lack of randomized, controlled clinical trials of ethanol and due to the potential hazards of ethanol consumption.


Lipoproteins HDL LDL Triglycerides Ethanol Alcohol 



The author thanks M. Nazeem Nanjee, PhD for valuable discussions and assistance with critical reviews of the literature. This work was performed in part with support from grant R01AG18734 from the National Institutes of Health.


E.A. Brinton is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Atherotech. He is a consultant for Abbott, Amarin, Daiichi-Sankyo, Essentialis, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Kowa, Genzyme/Sanofi-Avenits, Genentech/Roche. He has received research grants (paid to his institution) from Abbott, Merck, Anterion, and Health Diagnostic Laboratory, and grants (paid to him) from Roche. He has received honoraria for speakers’ bureau service from Abbott, Daiichi-Sankyo, GlaxoSmithKline, Kowa, LipoScience, and Merck. He has provided expert testimony for Hinkle, Hensley, Shanor & Martin, Wagstaff & Cartmell, and Heard, Robins, Cloud & Black. He has received reimbursement for all travel/accommodations expenses related to board memberships and speaker’s bureau service.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Utah Foundation for Biomedical ResearchSalt Lake CityUSA

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