Moderate alcohol consumption has been associated with a decreased risk in cardiovascular disease. But there is still limited research on the relation between alcohol consumption and the risk of blood clot formation in veins, also called venous thromboembolism. A recently published meta-analysis1 finds a small decreased risk for low to moderate alcohol consumption.
Green tea, alcohol and coffee associated with lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia: a meta-analysis
Society is aging and the burden of cognitive impairment and dementia increases. A recent meta-analysis investigates whether alcohol, coffee and tea consumption affect the risk of developing these health issues. All three seem to be related to a lower risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. With alcohol the decreased risk is only present with less than one drink a day, and coffee with less than 2.8 cups.
Drinking alcohol, especially heavy drinking, can lead to sickness absence from the workplace. This can have economic consequences due to decreased productivity. A recently published meta-analysis is the first to conduct a dose-response analysis. It finds a J-shaped association: binge drinking and heavy drinking increase the risk of sickness absence compared to light to moderate drinkers. But non-drinkers also have a higher risk than light to moderate drinkers.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks its own tissues, causing widespread inflammation and tissue damage. Not much research has been done towards the role of alcohol, but a recent meta-analysis finds that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a decreased risk to develop systemic lupus erythematosus: the most common type of lupus.
Out of many applications from all over the world, the Scientific Committee of the Beer and Health Initiative elected Víctor Micó, a Spanish Postdoc at IMDEA Food Institute, as the winner of the Beer and Health Publication Award 2020. The quality of his study towards the effect of alcoholic and non- alcoholic beer on plasma and macrophage microRNAs in men with cardiovascular risk was outstanding and very original. Dr Micó receives a monetary prize of €1,000 and will present his research at the next Beer and Health symposium.
The relation between alcohol consumption and stomach cancer is not fully understood. A recent meta-analysis finds that the relationship between the two is only significant in China and only for cardia stomach cancer, where the tumor develops in the top of the stomach. Results show no difference between wine, beer and spirits.
Many of you have probably experienced that alcohol has an effect on brain functions when drinking. But what are the exact effects? A recently published meta-analysis looks at all the randomised trials and finds that alcohol does not affect the whole central nervous system, but only specific domains. Results show that alcohol consumption specifically affects attention, automatic auditory processing, and performance monitoring. These effects are already present with 1-2 drinks, although only small.
Does alcohol make you forget tasks you were supposed to do? A systematic review analyses the scares evidence and finds that, at least in the short term, alcohol does indeed impair our so-called prospective memory. The long-term effects are still unclear.
A recent meta-analysis calculates that about one third of rheumatoid arthritis cases in the US could be avoided by changing three lifestyle factors: smoking, overweight and alcohol consumption. Especially smoking and overweight increase the risk of arthritis. Alcohol consumption on the other hand, is associated with a lower risk. Eight percent of the cases of arthritis that could be avoided are associated with abstention or low alcohol consumption.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects a large percentage of the population: around 10% of the adults worldwide. Two recently published meta-analyses dive into possible causes of this disease. Results show that a Western diet with high intakes of red and processed meats, refined grains, and sweets is associated with an increased risk of CKD. On the other hand, both studies find a decreased risk of CKD with alcohol consumption. Other lifestyle factors that are associated with a lower risk are physical activity and non-smoking.