Drinking Wine Is Linked to a Lower Risk of Diabetes

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Now, new research from Denmark suggests that moderate levels of alcohol drinking - not binge drinking - may be linked to a lower risk of developing diabetes.

Drinking in moderation three or four times a week appears to help stave off diabetes compared to both heavy drinkers and people who don't drink.

The most beneficial drink is wine, probably because it contains chemical compounds that improve blood sugar balance.

The NHS advises that to keep health risks "low", men and women should drink no more than 14 units a week and, if we are consuming all of those units, to spread them over more than three days.

Danish experts surveyed 76,484 people - 28,704 men and 41,847 women - as part of the Danish Health Examination Survey 2007-2008, which collected data about consumers' alcohol intake, including the quantity and frequency of their drinking. On the contrary women who drank more were at a greater risk of developing diabetes.

"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.

Women didn't benefit at all from drinking beer, but men who drank one to six beers a week had a 21 percent lower risk of diabetes, the investigators found.

The scientists surveyed 70,551 men and women, and quizzed the respondents about their drinking habits.

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Participants were also asked whether their alcohol consumption had increased, decreased or remained stable over the previous five years.

Over the course of follow-up, 859 men and 887 women developed type 2 diabetes, for an incidence rate of 619 and 436 per 100,000 person-years, respectively.

The investigation did not distinguish between the two forms of diabetes, Type 1 and the much more common Type 2.

"It's better to drink the alcohol in four portions rather than all at once", said Prof Janne Tolstrup, from the National Institute of Public Health of the University of Southern Denmark.

"Binge drinkers can also develop unpleasant short-term effects, such as sweating, shaking, bad skin, diarrhoea, blackouts and problems sleeping".

Drinking alcohol most days of the week can significantly protect against developing diabetes, a study has found. Their results showed that hard liquor provided no benefit to men, while women could actually increase their risk of diabetes if they drank those liquors. Drinking seven or more drinks made with liquor per week, on the other hand, was associated with an 83 percent increased risk of diabetes in women compared with one liquor-based drink per week.

"Several factors contribute to it, including family history, ethnic background, age and being overweight".

Next to wine, beer also had a positive effect on lowering diabetes risk.

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