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News Worms


Frequent alcohol consumption associated with lowest risk for diabetes

Frequent alcohol consumption associated with lowest risk for diabetes

Regular consumption of certain alcoholic drinks in moderate amounts could cut a person's risk of developing diabetes, according to a new study.

When looking at how often alcohol was consumed, the team found that 3-4 days a week gave the lowest risk of diabetes, with men benefiting from a 27% lower risk and women a 32% lower risk when compared to those who drank less than one day per week.

Red wine in particular is beneficial in keeping blood sugar in control found the researchers.

Beer also helped reduced the risk in men, with those who consumed between 1 and 6 beers per week benefiting from a 21% lower risk compared to men drinking less than 1 beer per week.

The researchers analyzed data from 28,704 men and 41,837 women aged 18 years or older who completed the Danish Health Examination Survey. On the contrary women who drank more were at a greater risk of developing diabetes. In a 5-year follow up, respondents had to state whether their drinking frequency increased, decreased, or remained stable over the last five years.

During follow-up, 859 men and 887 women developed diabetes.

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. The lowest risk for developing type 2 diabetes was observed among men reporting consuming 14 drinks per week (HR = 0.57; 95% CI, 0.47-0.7); for women, the lowest risk for diabetes was observed among those reporting consuming nine drinks per week (HR = 0.42; 95% CI, 0.35-0.51).

Researchers found no clear association between reported binge drinking and diabetes risk, but they noted that this finding could be due to low statistical power. Meanwhile, there was no relationship between binge drinking and diabetes risk.

As for spirits, the researchers found no association with diabetes risk in men-but women who had at least seven hard-liquor drinks per week had an 83% increased risk of diabetes compared to those who had less than one. People who have diabetes either don't make enough insulin or don't use it effectively.

"While these findings are interesting, we wouldn't recommend people see them as a green light to drink in excess of the existing NHS guidelines".

Alcohol consumption is inversely associated with diabetes, but little is known about the role of drinking patterns. "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". Among people with diabetes, excessive drinking increases the risk of high blood sugar and weight gain, he said.

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. However, there was no effect on women's risk. Drinking three to four days a week was linked to the biggest risk reduction.

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