How Does Drinking Alcohol Affect Your Cholesterol?
By Jennifer Moll, PharmD. Cholesterol Expert
Jennifer Moll, PharmD has worked in pharmacy and clinical settings to help patients understand the importance of their medical conditions and following their medication regimens. She has been the About.com Guide to Cholesterol since 2004. Read more
Updated December 16, 2014.
Question: How Does Drinking Alcohol Affect Your Cholesterol?
Current studies reveal that HDL levels can increase by up to 12% in people who drink between one to two alcoholic beverages per day. LDL levels can be lowered by 4 to 8% with moderate alcohol consumption. Additionally, moderate consumption of alcohol has been shown to reduce the risk of dying from heart disease by up to 50%.
There is a limit on the amount of alcohol you can consume, however. Studies have also shown that drinking more than three alcoholic drinks per day can actually increase your risk of heart disease .
So, you can drink any type of alcohol. but do so in moderation: One drink a day if you are a healthy woman, and one to two drinks a day if you are a healthy man.
Kloner RA, Rezkalla SH. To drink or not to drink? That is the question. Circulation. 2007 Sep 11;116(11):1306-17.
Powers E, Saultz J, Hamilton A, et al. Clinical inquiries. Which lifestyle interventions effectively lower LDL cholesterol? J Fam Pract. 2007 Jun;56(6):483-5.Source: cholesterol.about.com