The association of alcohol consumption with metabolic syndrome and its individual components: the Taichung community health study

Nutr Res. 2012 Jan;32(1):24-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2011.11.004.


Alcohol has both adverse and protective effects on the individual components of metabolic syndrome (MS). We hypothesize that alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing MS and that the consumption of different types of alcoholic beverages has different effects on the development of MS and its individual components. We enrolled 2358 men for this cross-sectional study. The data were collected from self-reported nutrition and lifestyle questionnaires. Individuals who drank at least once per week for 6 consecutive months were classified as current drinkers. Current drinkers were at a higher risk of developing MS, abdominal obesity, and high triglyceride levels, but they were at a lower risk of developing low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). The increased risk of developing MS, high triglyceride, and high fasting glucose levels was dose dependent, whereas low HDL-C levels demonstrated a reverse relationship. The dose needed to reduce the risk of having low HDL-C levels was ≧50 g/d. This dose, however, resulted in an increased risk of developing high fasting glucose and high triglyceride levels. Consuming mixed types of alcohol increased the risk of developing MS and abdominal obesity. Meanwhile, those who drank liquor or wine had a greater risk of developing high triglyceride or high fasting glucose levels, respectively. In conclusion, alcohol consumption dose-dependently increased the risk of developing MS and some of its individual components while dose-dependently decreasing the risk of developing low HDL-C levels. The type of alcoholic beverage had different effects on the development of the individual components of MS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcoholic Beverages / adverse effects*
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / etiology
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / physiopathology
  • Life Style
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Abdominal / etiology
  • Obesity, Abdominal / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Report
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Wine / adverse effects*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL