Drinking alcohol four times a week reduces risk of diabetes, study says

Type 2 diabetes Experts have said risk is complex

The study doesn't distinguish between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and the researchers have not found a clear link between binge drinking and diabetes, but the researchers admit that only a small number of participants reported binge drinking.

That led scientists to conclude "consumption of alcohol on three to four days weekly was associated with significantly lower [diabetes] risk in men and women" compared to those who drink one or fewer days a week.

They said wine had the most substantial effect-probably because it contains chemical compounds that improve blood sugar balance. For instance, men who drank beer one to six times a week lowered their risk of diabetes by 21 percent compared to those who drank less than one beer weekly.

For the new study, researchers analyzed data from more than 70,000 healthy Danish adults who were surveyed about their health and drinking habits around 2007. On the contrary women who drank more were at a greater risk of developing diabetes.

Although, the ill-effects of alcohol far outweigh the positives, a study carried out by Danish researchers has said that moderate consumption of alcohol poses a lower risk of developing diabetes in comparison with people who don't drink at all.

The lowest risk of diabetes was observed at 14 drinks per week in men and nine drinks per week in women. Compared to people drinking less than one day each week, men who drink frequently had a 27% lower risk while women had a 32% lower risk, the researchers said.

Image credit: NPR " In principle, we can only say something about the five-year risk from this study", Tolstrup told CNN via email.


Over the course of follow-up, 859 men and 887 women developed type 2 diabetes, for an incidence rate of 619 and 436 per 100,000 person-years, respectively.

For women, the equivalent of just over a bottle and a half of wine a week cut their risk of type 2 diabetes by 58 per cent compared to those who did not drink at all. However, WHO has also said that moderate drinking could be beneficial when it comes to diabetes.

The authors found, however, that gin and vodka may not work as well as wine and beer, with women drinking seven or more drinks of spirits a week raising their diabetes risk by 83 per cent over those who had less than one a week.

The possible health benefits of drinking moderate amounts of alcohol, according to the US' Mayo Clinic, include reducing your risk of heart disease, ischemic stroke and diabetes.

It seems barely a day goes by without conflicting reports telling us that drinking is bad for us - or no, actually some drinking is OK.

Prof Tolstrup reiterated that alcohol is connected with several other serious disease conditions so this study is not a "go ahead" for consumption of excessive alcohol. In other words, the presence of polyphenols in the body will influence the effect foods have on blood sugar levels during and after consumption.

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