Moderate drinkers of alcohol have lower risk of cardiovascular disease than nondrinkers or heavy drinkers, and a recent study of men suggests that adiponectin levels may be a contributing factor.

Shinji Makita, MD, of Iwate Medical University in Morioka, Japan, and colleagues measured total adiponectin in 527 men aged 40-60 years participating in health check-up programs. They placed subjects into one of three groups based on alcohol consumption: none or occasional (A1), less than 50 g per day for at least three per week (A2), and 50 g or more per day for at least three days per week (A3).

Among men without metabolic syndrome (MetS), the researchers observed no significant difference in adiponectin levels among the three groups. Among men with MetS, however, adiponectin levels were significantly higher in group A2 (moderate consumption) than in both groups A1 and A3, according to a report published online ahead of print in Metabolism. In addition, MetS subjects in group A2 had higher high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels than those in group A1, but levels in group A3 did not differ significantly from those in group A2.

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