Frequent alcohol consumption associated with lowest risk for diabetes

Frequent alcohol consumption associated with lowest risk for diabetes

People in the study who drank three to four days a week were about 30% less likely to develop diabetes than those who drank less than once a week. For women, consuming at least seven drinks over 3 to 4 days was associated with a lower risk for diabetes when compared with abstainers (HR = 0.72; 95% CI, 0.55-0.95).

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. 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. Participants were followed for a median of 4.9 years.

Although focused on the subject of diabetes, the study did not distinguish between the two forms, Type 1 and the more common Type 2, in the study.

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".

Researchers can't say why alcohol might protect against diabetes, since this was an observational study rather than an experiment or clinical trial, Tolstrup said. However, WHO has also said that moderate drinking could be beneficial when it comes to diabetes.

More news: Man United boss Mourinho wants two more signings

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excess alcohol consumption contributes to almost 90,000 deaths annually in the U.S. Binge drinking is associated with liver, kidney and cardiovascular diseases.

Next to wine, beer also had a positive effect on lowering diabetes risk. That's especially true considering that European and American health officials consider nine weekly drinks for women to constitute "high-risk drinking".

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. Self-reported questionnaires were used to obtain information on alcohol drinking patterns, i.e. frequency of alcohol drinking, frequency of binge drinking, and consumption of wine, beer and spirits, from which we calculated beverage-specific and overall average weekly alcohol intake.

No association was found between binge drinking and diabetes risk, although the team suggested that this could be due to few participants reporting binge drinking. The impact of the regular alcohol consumption regarding the Type 2 risk will differ from person to person. In other words, the presence of polyphenols in the body will influence the effect foods have on blood sugar levels during and after consumption.

"Regularly drinking more than the daily guidelines can affect your health in many ways", confirms Dr Gary Bolger, Chief Medical Officer at AXA PPP healthcare.

Related Articles