Higher high density lipoprotein cholesterol associated with moderate alcohol consumption is not related to altered plasma lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase and lipid transfer protein activity levels

S C Riemens, A van Tol, K Hoogenberg, T van Gent, L M Scheek, W J Sluiter, R P Dullaart
Clinica Chimica Acta; International Journal of Clinical Chemistry 1997 February 3, 258 (1): 105-15
Lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT), cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) and phospholipid transfer protein (PLTP) are important factors involved in HDL metabolism. Altered plasma activity levels of these factors could play a role in the increase in high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol associated with moderate alcohol consumption. We measured plasma LCAT, CETP and PLTP activities with exogenous substrate assays, as well as lipoproteins and HDL lipids in 6 alcohol-abstaining men, 18 matched men who used < or = 1 and 18 men who used > or = 1 alcohol-containing drinks per day. Plasma cholesterol and triglycerides were similar in the three groups. HDL total cholesterol, HDL cholesteryl ester, HDL free cholesterol and HDL triglycerides were higher in the alcohol drinkers compared to the abstainers (all P < 0.05). No differences in plasma LCAT, CETP and PLTP activity levels were observed between the three groups. Analysis of covariance also demonstrated that the use of alcohol was associated with higher HDL cholesterol (P < 0.04), whereas plasma LCAT, CETP and PLTP activity levels were not related to alcohol consumption. Furthermore, HDL cholesteryl ester was positively associated with LCAT activity (P < 0.001), PLTP activity (P < 0.01) and alcohol intake (P < 0.04) and negatively with plasma triglycerides (P < 0.001) and CETP activity (P < 0.03); indicating that alcohol influenced HDL cholesteryl ester independently from these biochemical parameters. The higher HDL cholesterol associated with moderate alcohol consumption is, therefore, unlikely to be caused by and effect on plasma LCAT, CETP or PLTP activity levels.

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