Gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase is an enzyme found in the blood. It is found in excess when the liver is being stressed by alcohol. There are other conditions and some drugs which will cause an abnormal reading, but these are not common in apparently well people.
Takeheart measures the gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase and by that means introduces the subject of alcohol. It appears to be effective in identifying those with a problem though there are a few false positives and negatives which can be explored by question and answer.
There is evidence that moderate amounts of alcohol are good for the heart. (68, 199, 317, 357, 407), (414)
There is also evidence that immoderate drinking is bad for the heart.(29)
The French Paradox
The low rate of coronary heart disease in France compared with other developed countries with comparable dietary intake, especially the United Kingdom, has been called the "French Paradox" (414). It seems to be explained by their high wine intake. Despite the fact that the total annual ethanol intake decreased between 1965 and 1988, the coronary heart disease mortality did not increase, but fell. There was also a fall in deaths from cirrhosis of the liver. The French on average drink far more alcohol than is necessary for maximal cardioprotection.
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