Mental Depression May Depress Heart Health Benefits of Drinking Alcohol

Researchers at Duke University have discovered that mental depression may inhibit the positive anti-inflamatory effects associated with both exercise and light to moderate consumption of alcohol.

The investigators studied healthy nonsmoking adults with no history of psychiatric conditions. Information was collected on alcohol consumption, physical activities, and depressive symptoms. C-reactive protein (CPR) levels were measured. The latter is a biomarker that predicts future risk of heart disease and other inflammatory conditions.

Those who were physically active tended to have lower CCRP levels, except for those who were depressed. Those who drank at light and moderate levels also tended to have lower CRP levels, but only among men who were not depressed. However, depression did not make a statistically significant difference among light and moderate drinking women.

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  • Suarez, E.C. et al. Depression inhibits the anti-inflammatory effects of leisure time physical activity and light to moderat alcohol consumption. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 26 March 2013.

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