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In the past two decades, the clinical and research interest in the metabolic syndrome has risen. Results of previous studies have suggested that moderate alcohol consumption may decrease the risk for the metabolic syndrome but the data have not been entirely consistent. Dr. Ala’a Alkerwi and colleagues from the Centre de Recherche Public Santé (Strassen, Luxembourg) performed a meta-analysis from the available published data. The objective was to evaluate the association between alcohol consumption and the metabolic syndrome and to identify the gender-specific dose-response.

For this purpose fourteen relevant publications that examined this relationship were identified in the medical literature. Of those, 7 studies were included in the meta-analysis. The results showed that a moderate intake of alcoholic beverages of up to 40 g/ day in men and up to 20 g/day in women significantly reduced the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in various populations.

The scientists concluded that a “responsible alcohol intake” appears to be associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome and that their findings support the actual recommendations regarding consumption of alcoholic beverages among apparently healthy individuals.

Source: Alcohol consumption and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome: a meta-analysis of observational studies. Alkerwi A, Boutsen M, Vaillant M, Barre J, Lair ML, Albert A, Guillaume M, Dramaix M. Atherosclerosis. 2009;204(2):624-35.

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