Alcohol, My Brain, My Heart, My Future…!

By Trevor Chetcuti on 29 Nov 2013
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Discussions about alcohol provoke different emotions from different people.

It seems everyone has some emotional bias towards alcohol based upon personal addiction or experience.

In fact, this confusion can be highlighted by a quick Google search of the term – the top articles alternatively talk about the benefits of alcohol for health, condemn it, or remain completely indifferently about it.

Many suggest alcohol is a savior for our cardiovascular system. “That glass of red a few nights a week is going to save your heart!”  But even defining the word ‘moderation’ can be controversial.

So why are we this confused about alcohol’s health effects?

To understand this, we need to quickly touch on a little bit of genetics.

“It seems everyone has some emotional bias towards alcohol based upon personal addiction or experience.”

In simple terms, we have three genetic variants that affect our cardiovascular system; similar to races. These are named ApoE2, ApoE3 and ApoE4.

The significance of your ApoE status relates to how your system copes with alcohol. For instance, the ApoE2 group (approximately 15 per cent of the population) will find alcohol significantly benefits their cardiovascular system as it raises their HDL (good cholesterol) and lowers their LDL (bad cholesterol).

The ApoE3 group makes up the bulk of the population (up to 65 per cent). This group will find improvements in their HDL levels from moderate amounts of alcohol, with no change to their LDL levels.

The final group, ApoE4, is a very unique group. This group makes up the remaining 20 per cent of the population. The ApoE4 group struggles significantly with alcohol. It lowers their HDL and raises their LDL cholesterol.

More importantly, those in the ApoE4 group are at a higher risk of degenerative neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease, and they recover poorly from head injuries and concussions.

For these reasons alcohol should be avoided by this group.

“We should keep alcohol intake to a minimum unless we understand our genetic coding.”

In addition to ApoE status, the ability of the liver to clear alcohol varies from person to person based on many factors, including genetics.

All of these variables create a minefield when trying to determine whether alcohol is a good or bad for each individual person. And we haven’t even addressed the issues associated with other areas of function yet!

In short, given that one in five could have an adverse reaction to regular alcohol consumption, it must be said that we should keep alcohol intake to a minimum unless we understand our genetic coding.

Keeping alcohol intake limited to one glass every four to seven days is the safest way to protect your system.

Of course no amount of beer, which is both high in GI and high in carbohydrate, is beneficial.

But more on that another time.

For more information about genetic testing or to arrange to have your genes tested, feel free to contact me via our website at spinewise.com.au.

About the Author

Dr Trevor has a passion for helping people that goes beyond what most people expect. He has a knack for getting to issues quickly and an amazing knowledge for all things health and wellbeing. With extensive study in areas such as Physiology, Nutrition, Supplementation, Applied Kinesiology, Neuro Emotional Technique and Chiropractic, Dr Trevor's skills at working with a wide range of health and performance issues have become widely respected.

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