Moderate alcohol consumption reduces plasma C-reactive protein and fibrinogen levels; a randomized, diet-controlled intervention study

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2002 Nov;56(11):1130-6. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1601459.


Objective: To evaluate the effect of moderate alcohol consumption on the acute phase proteins C-reactive protein and fibrinogen.

Design: Randomized, diet-controlled, cross-over study.

Setting: The study was performed at TNO Nutrition and Food Research, Zeist, The Netherlands.

Subjects: Ten middle-aged men and 10 postmenopausal women, all apparently healthy, non-smoking and moderate alcohol drinkers, were included. One women dropped out because of a treatment-unrelated cause. The remaining 19 subjects finished the experiment successfully.

Interventions: Men consumed four glasses and women consumed three glasses of beer or no-alcohol beer (control) with evening dinner during two successive periods of 3 weeks. The total diet was supplied to the subjects and had essentially the same composition during these 6 weeks. Before each treatment there was a 1 week washout period to compensate for possible carry-over effects.

Results: Plasma C-reactive protein and fibrinogen levels were decreased by 35% (P=0.02) and 12.4% (P< or =0.001), respectively, after 3 weeks' consumption of beer, as compared to no-alcohol beer consumption.

Conclusions: Moderate alcohol consumption significantly decreased plasma C-reactive protein and fibrinogen levels. An anti-inflammatory action of alcohol may help explain the link between moderate alcohol consumption and lower cardiovascular disease risk.

Sponsorship: Dutch Foundation for Alcohol Research (SAR).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / blood*
  • Beer
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Fibrinogen / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Triglycerides
  • Fibrinogen
  • C-Reactive Protein