The answer is YES! And, the relationship between alcohol and cholesterol, is actually positive. Studies show that alcohol in moderate amounts can help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) often referred to as bad cholesterol, and increase high density lipoprotein (HDL) known as good cholesterol. Good cholesterol is required in the body for the production of certain hormones. It also works to improve the absorption of certain nutrients and to flush the bad cholesterol. Bad cholesterol contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease when levels are too high.
So, if your recent lipid profile test reveals that your cholesterol is high, one solution to lower it may be to drink alcohol, but in moderate amount of course. For men, this amount is to one or two drinks a day, while a daily drink is enough for women. Consuming more than the recommended amount will have adverse effects. Therefore, an alcoholic – or anyone who consume high volumes of alcohol – will not be able to reduce cholesterol by using alcohol.
Alcohol is usually loaded with high amounts of calories, which can cause triglyceride levels in the blood increase, even if alcohol is consumed in small amounts. Triglycerides are molecules containing until excess calories are required by the body for energy. High levels of triglycerides, when combined with high amounts of alcohol and cholesterol levels that are abnormally high, may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Exercise is proved as an effective way to help lower triglycerides and help reduce cholesterol levels back into balance. Therefore, moderate amounts of alcohol can be combined with exercise and a diet low in cholesterol will help raise good cholesterol. A low cholesterol diet involves reducing intake of saturated and trans fats, while increasing the intake of monounsaturated fats. It also involves consuming lots of high-fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables.
Extra caution should be exercised when using alcohol as a way to balance cholesterol levels, because some studies show cholesterol lowering drugs and alcohol can interfere with each other. This interference can cause bad cholesterol levels rising further. Other problems that may arise as a result of alcohol use to lower cholesterol levels include heart disease and the risk of alcoholism. Taking into account the positive relationship between alcohol and cholesterol, we must also take into account risks associated with regular use of alcohol and try to find a balance between the two.