Diabetes: Alcohol Consumption Could Lower Risk, Study Says

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While the study suggests a link between alcohol and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, the study can not determine that alcohol causes these protective effects.

Consuming alcohol three to four times a week thus reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 32% in women and 27% in men compared to those who drank once a week.

Red wine is said to be more beneficial, owing to its ability in helping to manage blood sugar.

However, while between one and six beers per week reduced the risk by 21 per cent in men - it had no effect on women.

Holst and colleagues analyzed data from 70,551 adults without diabetes at baseline participating in the 2007-2008 Danish Health Examination Survey (41,847 women; mean age of men, 51 years; mean age of women, 48 years).

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.

"Our findings suggest that alcohol drinking frequency is associated with risk of diabetes and that consumption of alcohol over 3-4 days per week is associated with the lowest risk of diabetes, even after taking average weekly alcohol consumption into account", the researchers wrote in their paper. They were followed up for an average of 4.9 years.

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"Type 2 diabetes risk is complicated". The lowest risk of diabetes was found to be at 14 drinks per week for men, and nine drinks a week for women, compared to no alcohol intake.

As per BBC, Prof Janne Tolstrup, from the National Institute of Public Health of the University of Southern Denmark, who led the research, said: "We found that drinking frequency has an independent effect from the amount of alcohol taken". The alcoholic beverage not only acts as a stress reliever, it can also protect us from diabetes.

The timing of those drinks also mattered.

Drinkers should, however, avoid gin and spirits, which were associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes by 83% in women.

There shouldn't be much emphasis placed on the results for spirits, Tolstrup said, "because few people were drinking a lot of spirits, most were drinking wine and beer".

"Several factors contribute to it, including family history, ethnic background, age and being overweight". There was no impact on women's risk. But, studies that have examined the role of drinking patterns - the number of days drinking per week rather than volume - on diabetes have been inconclusive, along with the effect of different types of drinks.

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. In other words, it's possible that binge drinking is linked to diabetes risk, but more research is needed. "Drinking frequency was important, as those who were drinking three to four times per week had lower risk as compared to those drinking only once per week - regardless of the total weekly amount".