MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Eat fish -- especially if you drink high levels of alcohol

Back to society news Blogs list Cancer blog  


Subscribe To Society News RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Eat fish -- especially if you drink high levels of alcohol




Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are just that; an "essential" part of the total fat intake necessary for a healthy human diet. Most EFAs come from plants, but some are animal-sourced. A new study has observed that men who binge drink have substandard intake of n-3 fats, one of two types of EFAs, indicating poor dietary choices with negative long-term health consequences.

Results are reported in the recent issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research



Eat fish -- especially if you drink high levels of alcohol

"Essential fatty acids are important building blocks of living cells, making up a substantial part of cell walls," explained Norman Salem, Jr., chief of the Laboratory of Membrane Biochemistry & Biophysics at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism "EFAs also have a number of biological functions, and a lack of them leads to loss of growth and development, infertility, and a host of physiological and biochemical abnormalities." Salem is also the study's corresponding author.

The most important EFAs are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), said J. Thomas Brenna, professor of human nutrition and of chemistry & chemical biology at Cornell University. Especially two types, Brenna noted: the omega-6 PUFA linoleic acid (LA), also called n-6 fats, and the omega-3 PUFA linolenic acid (ALA), also called n-3 fats. "Most Americans consume adequate amounts of LA in their diets through the use of vegetable oils, but tend to have low intakes of ALA," said Brenna.

This imbalance, added Salem, has become pronounced only in the last century and a number of believe it is a source of the increase of a number of common diseases in Western society. Salem and his co-authors wanted to investigate what influence alcohol consumption might have on EFA imbalance in the Western diet.

Scientists used data from 4,168 adults who self-reported their alcohol consumption as part of the 2001-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Participants were also interviewed about their EFA intake during a single prior 24-hour period.

Results indicate that EFA intake drops as alcohol consumption increases, especially among men.

"Our most important finding is the decrease in n-3 EFA intake in binge-drinking men," said Salem. "We really couldnt evaluate women who binge drink two or more times per week due to the low numbers in this population, eventhough it is quite possible that we would obtain similar findings. The changes we found indicate that those who drink alcohol make food selections in such a way as to decrease foods with this important nutrient. The binge-drinking men have decreases in the longer chain n-3 fatty acids, the ones that we typically get from eating fish, and so this suggests that they eat less fish".

"Prior studies by Dr. Salem and his colleagues have shown that requirements for these nutrients actually increase with greater alcohol consumption," noted Brenna. "Considering that the ALA levels are already low in comparison to the LA levels, these results are further reason for concern over the ALA intake of alcoholics."

"This helps to explain why alcohol abuse leads to losses in polyunsaturated fats in the circulation and organs," said Salem. "However, dietary influence does not explain all of the changes observed in past studies of fatty-acid changes in organs of alcohol abusers. Alcohol also has an effect on fatty acid metabolism, mainly through increasing fat break down".

Furthermore, said Brenna, alcohol has strong, lasting, and deleterious effects on the brain. "The brain depends on a supply of omega-3 PUFA," he said. The brains of men consuming high levels of alcohol, especially those who regularly binge drink, are further compromised by a low intake of EFA".

"In summary," said Salem, "for those who drink, particularly binge drinkers or those who drink more than one drink per day on average: make sure that you obtain your sources of n-3 fatty acids in the diet, that is, eat more fish."


Posted by: Janet    Source




Did you know?
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are just that; an "essential" part of the total fat intake necessary for a healthy human diet. Most EFAs come from plants, but some are animal-sourced. A new study has observed that men who binge drink have substandard intake of n-3 fats, one of two types of EFAs, indicating poor dietary choices with negative long-term health consequences.

Medicineworld.org: Eat fish -- especially if you drink high levels of alcohol

Asthma| Hypertension| Medicine Main| Diab french| Diabetes drug info| DruginfoFrench| Type2 diabetes| Create a dust free bedroom| Allergy statistics| Cancer terms| History of cancer| Imaging techniques| Cancer Main| Bladder cancer news| Cervix cancer news| Colon cancer news| Esophageal cancer news| Gastric cancer news| Health news| Lung cancer news| Breast cancer news| Ovarian cancer news| Cancer news|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.