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Alcohol Lowers CRP

A study from Harvard Medical School showed that drinking alcohol lowers blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP).

When a germ gets into your bloodstream, white blood cells release chemicals called cytokines to bring in fluid to carry antibodies to attach to the germs, other white blood cells that gobble up the invader and so forth. The reaction of redness, swelling, and pain is called inflammation, and we now know that it can damage the inner linings of arteries to form plaques.

Drinking alcohol lowers blood levels of C-Reactive Protein which measures inflammation, and therefore apparently helps to prevent heart attacks. Fat cells release cytokines, so obesity causes inflammation. Smoking, chronic infections, and high blood sugar levels also cause inflammation to increase risk for heart attacks. If you have high blood levels of CRP, ask your doctor to look for a hidden infection or other cause. See:
Inflammation: More Important than Cholesterol?
Heart Attacks and Inflammation

Alcohol consumption and plasma concentration of C-reactive protein. Circulation, 2003, Vol 107, Iss 3, pp 443-447. MA Albert, RJ Glynn, PM Ridker. Albert MA, Brigham & Womens Hosp, Div Cardiovasc, 75 Francis St, Boston,MA 02115 USA

Checked 8/1/12

May 19th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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