Triglycerides and Alcohol

Patients who suffer from the effects of high blood triglycerides must always stay alert about what he/she eats and drinks. While there is a whole list of foods high in triglycerides, there are also certain drinks that are just as adept at raising triglyceride levels as any of the solid food items on that list. Alcohol tops the chart in that department as it is a scientifically proven fact that even the smallest of alcoholic drinks can bump up triglyceride levels faster than almost any other food item. It is for this reason that doctors, books and websites will all advise everyone to keep the drinking to a minimum if one already has high levels of triglycerides in the blood stream. Depending on the reason, amount and effects of the triglyceride condition in a particular patient, alcohol consumption might have to be restricted or stopped altogether.

Triglycerides and alcohol have a direct connection because of a number of reasons and the first one is that it contains a lot of calories. Consider the fact that in every ounce of alcohol, there are about 200 calories and people usually drink after work or especially when there isn’t a lot to do soon afterwards. The unused calories get converted into triglycerides as the body does not have any need for the energy and thus the boost in blood triglycerides. Alcoholic drinks also contain mixers in them and soft drinks or energy drinks are often added to the hard drinks to add flavor. Most people don’t drink without additional oily and fried food items like fried nuts, fried meat, chips, French fries, nachos etc that are rich in sodium and fat themselves . All of these add even more calories when they ultimately enter your system along with the drink, which also explains why alcohol makes people fat.

Along with adding a huge dosage of calories through each and every drink of vodka, whiskey, beer, rum, gin, wine or champagne, one will also slow down fat metabolism by as much as thirty percent. What this means is that not only will he/she be raising triglyceride and cholesterol levels through drinking, but the drinks will also reduce the rate at which the fat in the body is processed. Someone who is drunk is also known as “intoxicated” at times and there is a good reason for it. The liver treats the alcohol as a toxin and stops processing everything else to get to removing alcohol from the system. This of course, allows the blood glucose to be turned into triglycerides at a much faster rate and that is another reason as to why alcohol boosts triglyceride levels.

The pancreas is responsible for breaking down triglyceride molecules through an enzyme known as pancreatic lipase. Unfortunately, drinking alcohol also affects the release of the pancreatic lipase and thus triglyceride processing takes another step back due to this effect. There are researches that suggest that red wine can be helpful in actually lowering triglycerides, but nothing is comprehensive enough to be considered seriously though. It is best to restrict one’s drinking (if not stopping it totally) if a triglyceride reduction is necessary or desired.