Regular drinking can reduce risk of developing diabetes, study suggests

Courtesy The Beer Institute

Of the study's participants, only 2.5 percent developed diabetes during the study, but those who did usually drank alcohol less than once per week.

In terms of frequency, the data revealed that consumption of alcohol three to four days a week gave the lowest risk of diabetes - a 27 per cent lower risk in men and a 32 per cent lower risk in women - when compared to individuals drinking less than one day per week.

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. Hard liquor provided no benefit to men, and could actually increase a woman's risk of diabetes, the findings showed.

Dr Emily Burns، head of research communications at Diabetes UK، said people needed to be wary as "the impact of regular alcohol consumption on the risk of type 2 will be different from one person to the next".

According to the new study, "the lowest risk of diabetes was observed at 14 drinks/week in men and at 9 drinks/week in women", though all drinks are not created equal. Studies examining the effects of red wine components on risk factors for type 2 diabetes (such as glucose absorption by muscle tissue) have "largely produced negative results".

For both genders, seven glasses of wine a week lowered the risk of diabetes by 25% to 30% compared with having less than one glass.

When it came to beer, men who drank between one and six each week reduced their risk of diabetes by 21% compared to men hoisting less than one beer each week.

The team also looked at diabetes risk in relation to what people drank.

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"We found that drinking frequency has an independent effect from the amount of alcohol taken". That same threshold for men is 15 drinks per week.

"Recent UK government data suggests the vast majority of people who choose to drink alcohol heed that advice and do so in moderation and within the Chief Medical Officer's low-risk guidelines". The alcoholic beverage not only acts as a stress reliever, it can also protect us from diabetes.

It's also tough to accurately capture through a questionnaire other things that might lower type 2 diabetes risk, such as daily exercise and a family history of diabetes. "Regularly drinking more than this can increase the risk to your health".

Since few participants reported binging, the researchers say their finding of no clear link between binge drinking and diabetes risk may be due to low statistical power.

However, Public Health England advised consumers to be aware of the additional risks of consuming alcohol, not just diabetes. Meanwhile, there was no relationship between the average weekly alcohol amount of spirits and diabetes in men.

"Consuming alcohol contributes to a vast number of other serious diseases، including some cancers، heart disease and liver disease، so people should keep this in mind when thinking about how much they drink".

Responding to the study, the Alcohol Information Partnership was quick to stress the importance of drinking in moderation.


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