Triglycerides and Alcohol
Up to Date
Last Updated - 09/12/2023View our editorial policy
There are two measures of your health that your doctor will routinely consider, and both are important to overall health. These measures are your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. However, there is something else that may also be monitored, which are triglycerides. Triglycerides are a type of fat that is found in the blood. When you eat, your body takes any calories that aren’t needed and turns them to triglycerides, which are then stored in fat cells. If you frequently eat more calories than your body uses, you may have high triglycerides.
Triglycerides are different from other types of lipids or fat found in the blood. Another common type of fat in the blood is cholesterol, for example.
When you have high triglyceride levels, it can increase your risk of heart attack, heart disease and stroke, and it can cause pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas.
You may be wondering about the relationship between triglycerides and alcohol. For example, how do they affect one another?
How Alcohol Is Processed in the Body
How does alcohol work in the body? When you drink alcohol, your bloodstream absorbs it through your stomach and small intestine. Your liver breaks down alcohol and processes it so that it can be eliminated from your body. If you drink excessively over a long time, you may experience liver damage and negative heart effects.
Does Alcohol Raise Triglycerides?
Does alcohol raise triglycerides? If you already have high triglycerides, this question may be important to answer.
It is possible for triglycerides to increase by drinking alcohol. Beer and liquor especially can raise triglycerides. Additionally, drinking excessively can increase cholesterol, damage the pancreas and can be a contributor to pancreatitis and diabetes.
Why does alcohol raise triglycerides? First, alcohol has a lot of calories and sugar that can increase triglyceride levels in the body. Additionally, when you drink too much alcohol, it can cause more fatty acids to flow to the liver.
If you have high triglyceride levels or are at risk of having high levels, several lifestyle changes can help. Some of the lifestyle changes that assist with triglycerides management include:
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Reducing sugar and carbohydrate intake
- Limiting or stopping the use of alcohol
- Eating healthy fats, such as fats from fish
Alcohol Consumption: Moderation Is Key
Triglycerides are linked to cardiovascular and heart health. While it’s believed that certain types of alcohol like wine help heart health, that may not always be the case. It’s important to realize that when it comes to drinking alcohol, moderation is extremely important and you may currently misunderstand how little alcohol is considered moderate drinking.
Additionally, researchers can’t confirm that there are benefits of alcohol for heart health because current studies do not show a causal link. The American Heart Association does not recommend drinking alcohol as a way to improve heart health.
While moderation is key for healthy alcohol consumption, if you have an alcohol use disorder, moderation may not be possible, and it may be better for you to go through alcohol detox at an accredited rehab facility like The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake to ensure your recovery.
Finding Help with Alcoholism
If you feel you have a problematic relationship with alcohol, it can affect every aspect of your physical and mental health. Reach out to The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake to find help with alcoholism or problem drinking.
Additionally, you can also find treatment options for alcohol abuse by:
- Talking with your doctor about rehab
- Speaking with a mental health professional about underlying issues related to your alcohol consumption
- Finding treatment options in your area with this interactive map from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
A healthier life is possible for you. To learn more about alcohol treatment at The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake, call us today.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. “High Blood Triglycerides“>High Blo[…]Triglycerides.” April 19, 2023. Accessed July 6, 2023.
Pownall, Henry J.; Ballantyne, Christie M.; & et al. “Effect of Moderate Alcohol Consumption on Hypertriglyceridemia“>Effect o[…]iglyceridemia.” JAMA Internal Medicine. May 10, 1999. Accessed July 6, 2023.
Andrade, Ana C.M.; Cesena, Fernando H.Y.; & et al. “Short-Term Red Wine Consumption Promotes Differential Effects on Plasma Levels of High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol, Sympathetic Activity, and Endothelial Function in Hypercholesterolemic, Hypertensive, and Healthy Subjects“>Short-Te[…]lthy Subjects.” Clinics (Sao Paulo). May 2009. Accessed July 6, 2023.