Study Shows Moderate Drinking Reduces Diabetes Risk

Alcohol consumption over three to four days of the week is associated with reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, as reported in the journal Diabetologia.

Researchers from the National Institute of Public Health at the University of Southern Denmark analyzed data from a 2007-8 lifestyle and health survey (Danish Health Examination Survey), excluding any respondents already diagnosed with diabetes.

Survey specifics included frequency of alcohol consumption (days per week), plus the types (e.g., wine, beef, spirits), and number of drinks consumed per week. The data were adjusted for various factors including age, sex, education, weight, type of diet, and health issues.

Information from the survey was supplemented with five years of follow-up data gathered through Danish nationwide registries. During the follow-up period 859 men, and 887 women developed type 2 diabetes.

Analysis revealed the lowest risk for developing diabetes was among those consuming moderate amounts of alcohol. Men consuming 14 drinks per week had a 43 percent reduced diabetes risk compared to no alcohol intake. Women consuming nine drinks per week had a 58 percent reduced risk compared to non-drinkers.

Consuming alcohol three to four days a week showed the lowest diabetes risk compared to those drinking less than one day per week. The risk was 27 percent lower for men, and 32 percent lower for women.

Men and women who drank seven or more glasses of wine per week had a 25 to 30 percent lower diabetes risk, compared to having less than one glass per week. Male beer drinkers had a 21 percent reduced diabetes risk at one to six beers per week, compared to those consuming less than one per week. There was no beer-related data for women. However, women drinking spirits seven or more times per week had an 83 percent increased risk of diabetes, compared to less than once per week spirit drinkers.

“Our findings suggest that alcohol drinking frequency is associated with the risk of diabetes and that consumption of alcohol over 3-4 weekdays is associated with the lowest risks of diabetes, even after taking average weekly alcohol consumption into account,” concluded the researchers.

Sources: Science Daily
Photo credit: Jason Dean

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