How does alcohol reverse aging of the arteries?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
No one knows exactly how alcohol retards or reverses arterial aging. It appears to prevent clotting by decreasing the rate of platelet aggregation, meaning that the platelets don't stick together as fast as they normally would. Also, alcohol appears to prevent the oxidation of fat that leads to accumulation of fatty plaques along the walls of the arteries. Alcohol promotes health of the endothelium, the layer of cells that lines the arteries and helps promote proper blood flow. In test-tube studies, alcohol decreased inflammation in the endothelial (lining) cells of arteries. Although some may be better than others, all types of alcoholic beverages help reduce the level of atherosclerosis. All alcohol causes an increase in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) (healthy) cholesterol levels.

Continue Learning about Alcohol & Health

The Health Benefits of Giving up Alcohol for One Month a Year
The Health Benefits of Giving up Alcohol for One Month a Year
Dean Martin and Foster Brooks had successful Las Vegas nightclub careers based on characters who were fun-loving drunks. Once people sobered up and re...
Read More
Between dark or light alcohol, which is healthier for me?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Drinking in moderation can actually be healthy for you because it decreases risk of cardiovascul...
More Answers
How can sobriety checkpoints help deter drunk driving?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
At sobriety checkpoints, law enforcement officers stop drivers to assess their level of alcohol impa...
More Answers
Beer Is Good for Your Heart, Too!
Beer Is Good for Your Heart, Too!

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.