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J Cardiovasc Risk. 2003 Feb;10(1):25-30.

Alcohol and cardiovascular disease--more than one paradox to consider. Alcohol and type 2 diabetes--another paradox?

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University of Western Australia, Department of Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital.


The French Paradox relates to the observation that mortality rates due to coronary heart disease are relatively low in France despite a diet rich in saturated fats. Another paradox linked to alcohol is the diverse associations of acute and chronic alcohol use with respect to insulin resistance, incidence of type 2 diabetes and incidence of cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes. Reports consistently suggest that the acute affects of alcohol induce a state of insulin resistance following either an oral and/or intravenous glucose load. Contrary to the acute alcohol studies is a large body of epidemiological evidence from cross-sectional studies which suggests that long-term exposure to alcohol is associated with an improvement in insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, a substantial number of prospective studies point to a protective role for light to moderate chronic alcohol intake against the development of diabetes as well as a protective effect of regular mild to moderate drinking against coronary artery disease in type 2 diabetic subjects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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