Most people have heard that a small amount of alcohol may be healthy for one’s heart, but this is simply not the case for everybody. In fact, a recent study shows that there are only a select number of people that receive any benefit from a small amount of alcohol daily, and the rest of us are subjected to negative consequences.
In order for alcohol to be healthy for one’s heart, a person has to have a particular genotype. Only 15 percent of the population may be able to claim this genotype, and therefore consider that a small amount of alcohol may benefit them daily. Scientists noticed that alcohol seemed to help the CETP gene. This is the gene that is responsible for monitoring the process of moving cholesterol from the arteries to the liver. Upon further inspection of the relationship between alcohol and the CETP gene, scientists realized that alcohol was only helpful when the CETP gene had a slight variation. Because such a small portion of the population has this variation, it is safe to assume that consuming alcohol as a method of protecting one’s heart is fruitless.
Alcohol abuse continues to be one of the leading causes of death in our country. It is important that people understand studies like this to debunk any myths and know the full threat of consuming alcohol. Unfortunately, many people in our society cannot stop at just one or two drinks. The number of people suffering from alcohol abuse far outweighs the number with the special genetic variant.
The scientists from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden who performed this study hope that they will able to come up with a test to determine if someone has this specific gene. “Assuming that we are able to describe these mechanisms, it may be a simple matter one day to perform genetic testing and determine whether someone belongs to the lucky 15 [percent]. That would be useful to know when offering advice on healthy alcohol consumption,” explained Dag Thelle, a co-author on the study.