Drinking alcohol regularly reduces diabetes risk

Kristen Gonzales
July 29, 2017

Overall, those with the lowest risk of developing diabetes were people who drank moderately on a weekly basis, Tolstrup's analysis showed.

Compared to teetotallers, men who drink three to four days a week are 27 per cent less likely to develop the condition, and women 32 per cent less likely, researchers said.

Wine was found to have a better effect than beer and this was believed to be down to the fact that it contains chemical compounds that improve blood sugar balance.

Consuming between one and six beers per week gave a 21 per cent lower risk of diabetes in men compared with men drinking less than one beer a week, while it was not associated with diabetes risk in women.

Many of us drink the occasional glass of wine to disconnect our brain at the end of the day. Researchers found men who drank on average two drinks a day, lessened their diabetes risk by 43%.

They began by gathering data from Danish citizens 18 years old or older who completed the Danish Health Examination Survey.

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Asked why alcohol consumption led to decreased risk of developing diabetes, Tolstrup said the science was unresolved.

The prevalence of diabetes in the U.S.is high - 9.4 percent of the population has the disease, with type 2 being the most common. Specifically, the study found that for men, drinking 14 drinks per week was associated with a 41 percent lower risk of diabetes compared with no drinks, and for women, drinking nine drinks per week was associated with a 58 percent lower risk of diabetes.

Carried out by Professor Janne Tolstrup and a team from the National Institute of Public Health of the University of Southern Denmark, the researchers looked at the effects of drinking frequency on diabetes risk, and a potential association between risk and specific beverage types.

"In principle we can only say something about the five-year risk from this study", said Tolstrup in an email. However, WHO has also said that moderate drinking could be beneficial when it comes to diabetes. Drinking seven or more drinks made with liquor per week, on the other hand, was associated with an 83 percent increased risk of diabetes in women compared with one liquor-based drink per week. This result seems to be in line with other studies that suggest alcohol reduces an individual's chance of diabetes, although this one also estimates the optimal frequency for alcohol consumption. People who have diabetes either don't make enough insulin or don't use it effectively.

For both men and women, seven or more glasses of wine per week lowered the risk of diabetes by 25 per cent to 30 per cent compared with having less than one drink of wine. Among alcohol drinkers, the median weekly alcohol amount was eight drinks for men and four drinks for women, according to researchers. Alcohol, of course, can impact mental health too. "Regularly drinking more than this can increase the risk to your health".

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