Abstract: Background: The beneficial effect of moderate alcohol consumption in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease has been shown in several epidemiologic studies. Such studies have also shown, however, that the protective effect of alcoholic beverages like wine and beer is not only due to the ethanol content but also to the presence of nonalcoholic constituents. The positive effect of alcoholic beverages has been attributed to changes in lipoprotein metabolism, but there is substantial evidence that effects on hemostasis play an important role. Whether the effects of alcoholic beverages on hemostasis are due exclusively to ethanol or are due, in part, to nonalcoholic components, is still under debate.
Methods: We have examined the hemostatic effects of 3 liters of beer, dealcoholized beer, and ethanol/water (v/v 4%), consumed over a period of 3 hr, in 12 young healthy volunteers. Platelet parameters CD62, PAC-1, and monocyte platelet aggregates were analyzed using flow cytometric measurements. The activity of factor VII was determined with a prothrombin time (PT) assay and plasminogen activator inhibitor activity using a chromogenic substrate. Thrombin generation was determined according to the method of Hemker.
Results: All three fluids administered, dealcoholized beer, beer, and ethanol, reduced the expression of activated fibrinogen receptor, the platelet activation marker CD62, and the formation of monocyte-platelet-aggregate. In addition, dealcoholized beer also showed significant inhibitory effects on thrombin generation, whereas beer and ethanol showed procoagulatory effects.
Conclusions: This study has shown that the acute consumption of dealcoholized beer inhibits thrombogenic activity in young adults. This action could have a beneficial effect on the development of coronary artery disease. Thus, the consumption of dealcoholized beer could provide cardiovascular benefit without the negative effects of alcohol.