Does Alcohol Affect Cholesterol - Here's The Truth!

Does Alcohol Affect Cholesterol? – Here’s The Truth!

Have you ever thought about the relationship between alcohol and cholesterol? Actually, alcohol doesn’t contain any cholesterol content. You may have heard that drinking a glass or two of wine is good for your health. When it comes to cholesterol, a moderate level of alcohol consumption increases the good cholesterol level. What if it crosses the limits? A recent policy brief issued that even a low dose of alcohol harms your health, mainly because it affects heart health and leads to chronic illness. 

As you all know that regular alcohol consumption can lead to liver damage and influence high blood pressure. This article is all about the effect of alcohol on cholesterol. Before you dissect the effects of alcohol on cholesterol, let’s know a few points about cholesterol.

What Is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in the natural part of all cells and organs in the body. You mostly know about cholesterol as a villain in our lives. But it has several functions in the body such as helping to make hormones to strengthen the cells of your body. Cholesterol is produced in the liver. The body produces the needed cholesterol for certain functions. In addition, cholesterol comes from the food you eat.  

What Is Cholesterol

Cholesterol is mainly divided into three parts. The three parts are equally important to calculate your total cholesterol. They are,

  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) – HDL is the good cholesterol that carries bad cholesterol from your body and carries it back to the liver.
  • Low-density lipoprotein(LDL) – LDL is the bad cholesterol that causes different diseases in the body. The high amount of LDL contributes to cholesterol buildup in the arteries.
  • Triglycerides – it is another type of fat similar to LDL. The high amount of triglycerides also leads to heart diseases like stroke and heart attack.

The total amount of these three types of cholesterol determines the cholesterol level. The cholesterol test can be done in a laboratory with the help of a technician. 

Does Alcohol Affect Cholesterol Levels?

Yes. Alcohol affects your cholesterol level and makes it complicated. The complications depend on various factors like genetic disorders or drinking patterns. Light to moderate-level drinking doesn’t harm your body. It helps to boost high-density lipoprotein in the body. On the other hand, regular consumption of alcohol/heavy alcohol use can cause severe effects on the body.

Does Alcohol Affect Cholesterol Levels

Heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk factors for liver disease and heart disease. The excessive intake of alcohol increases the count of triglycerides LDL. The sudden growth in these types of cholesterol leads to severe conditions. 

Light To Moderate Alcohol Intake

Many studies are showing the potential benefits of a glass of red wine or beer. Yes. that’s true. Moderate level of alcohol consumption improves the count of HDL cholesterol. But this may lead to an addiction. Therefore, alcohol can be used at a limited level. Limited use of alcohol will be a boon.

Otherwise, it’s a bane. Studies suggest that people who drink alcohol at a moderate level have a lower risk of heart disease. The studies also suggest alcohol lowers the risk of blood clots and reduce levels of inflammation markers. However, the main benefit comes from the ability to boost good cholesterol. HDL helps to remove the cholesterol deposits in the arteries and protects cardiovascular health.

A moderate level of alcohol consumption for males is considered to drink less than 14 drinks per week is good. If you are a female it’s better to drink less than 7 drinks per week.

According to American Heart Association, there is no research proving the association between drinking alcohol and better heart health, which means avoiding alcohol is the best choice for your heart health.

Heavy Alcohol Intake

When your alcohol use exceeds its limit, it causes the good cholesterol to disappear from your body. Heavy drinking is closely associated with increasing low-density lipoprotein and triglycerides. A study reveals that consuming 8 or more drinks for women per day leads to a high increase in triglycerides. The same condition will happen in males who consume 10 or more drinks per day.

Too much alcohol content in the body increases blood sugar, heart disease, and obesity and increases total fat. Excessive alcohol consumption weakens the heart and thereby transporting blood through the arteries makes it difficult. People who have this condition called congestive heart failure. Due to the severe causes of heavy alcohol consumption, American Heart Association doesn’t recommend using any type of alcohol. The organization advises that focus on your body weight, heart-healthy diet, and physical activities to keep your cholesterol at a balanced level.

If you are planning to drink, take advice from a health practitioner and drink in moderation. If you are a person with high cholesterol, you may be at risk of heart disease. Therefore, regular drinking is not advisable. A blood test can determine whether you can consume alcohol or not. If the test shows high-level triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein, you must avoid alcohol entirely from your life. If you can’t avoid it entirely, then you should take advice from your doctor. He will adjust the quantity of alcohol that you can intake on occasional days.

Is It Safe To Consume Alcohol With Statins?

Statins are a type of drug that helps to lower cholesterol. The drug is used mostly on people who have high-level HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Usually, doctors suggest this medicine, If a patient has not any reduction in LDL levels after eating a healthier diet and following proper lifestyle changes. Statins have several side effects. It affects your liver.

The liver is metabolizing the alcohol that you drink. National Health Service says that there are no known interactions between alcohol and statins. However, they strongly recommend that do not use statins if you have severe liver disease. Statins make your liver weaken. People who use statins and drink alcohol regularly can prevent a side effect called rhabdomyolysis. There is no evidence that says that both statins and alcohol have direct risks. But both of them can impair liver function. 

What Are The Types Of Alcoholic Drinks And How Do They Affect Cholesterol?

As aforementioned, excessive alcohol consumption causes severe effects on your body. Drinking too much alcohol can reduce your good cholesterol level and the changes may vary depending on how much alcohol you consume and how often you drink it. Let’s look at each type of alcoholic drink and how they impact your body differently.



The high carbohydrate content can increase triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are also bad fat like LDL. The increasing amount of triglycerides also influences the total cholesterol.

Liquor And Cocktails 

Liquor And Cocktails 

Liquor and cocktails are high in carbohydrates and added sugar. Excessive sugar in the body converts into fatty substances and deposits in different parts of the body. Therefore diabetes and cholesterol are linked. The added sugar and carbohydrates raise your total cholesterol.



Compared to other alcoholic drinks, red wine contains antioxidants. People believe that drinking low to moderate levels of red wine is heart-healthy. A specific polyphenol called resveratrol helps to reduce LDL cholesterol levels and promotes HDL cholesterol in the body. However compared to other drinks, wine is better to consume. Drinking red grape juice is much preferable

How Can You Manage Your Cholesterol Level?

If you are a person with high cholesterol, don’t worry about the consequences. Invest your little time in making great lifestyle choices that make you cholesterol free and also help to maintain balanced cholesterol. Keeping your cholesterol level is essential for a healthy life. In order to keep a neutral cholesterol level, you should consider the following things. 

  • Avoid Smoking
Avoid Smoking

Smoking can increase your bad cholesterol and cause different health diseases. It’s better to avoid smoking habits for a healthy life.

  • Eat Heart-Healthy Foods
Eat Heart-Healthy Foods

Saturated fat and trans fat are the two main sources where cholesterol originates. Avoiding saturated food increases your HDL cholesterol. Include unsaturated foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.

  • Do Regular Exercise
Do Regular Exercise

Physical activities play an important role in cholesterol. Make sure that you are doing 30 minutes of exercise daily. Burn your extra calories by doing physical activities such as brisking, walking, jogging, or doing your favorite spot. Exercise improves your good cholesterol and removes LDL cholesterol from the body. 

  • Reduce Stress
Reduce Stress

Be positive. Don’t overthink anything that harms your mental health and physical health. Cortisol can change the total cholesterol level by increasing a high number of triglycerides and LDL. Try to avoid negative things and bring positive vibes that make you happy.

  • Medications

Medications can manage a neutral level of cholesterol in the body. Statins reduce the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver. In addition, Bile acid-binding drugs and fibrates decrease LDL and triglycerides and improve your heart health.

Final Take

Alcohol affects your cholesterol based on the type and amount of alcohol you consume. As the aforementioned, a moderate level of alcohol consumption is good for your health. On the other hand, Heavy alcohol consumption is associated with heart disease and other complexities. It’s better to talk with your doctor about your cholesterol level or alcohol intake. 

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