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Drinking Could Reduce Risk of Diabetes, New Study Finds

Alcohol is widely consumed around the world in all different kind of forms. Although it is generally thought to have negative connotations in terms of health, new research may be disputing this claim.

Relation Between Alcohol and Diabetes Risk

According to a recent study published in Diabetologia Journal, alcohol consumption could reduce the risk of diabetes. In a quest to understand the relationship between alcohol consumption patterns and type-2 diabetes, the researchers analyzed a total of 76,484 men and women for nearly five years. In the study, participants took part in a self-reported survey stating the number of times they drink and the kind of drinks they take. Within the group selected, 1,756 individuals developed diabetes. The study was more of an observation than a clinical or laboratory testing.

Difference in Rates Between Men and Women

From the study, the researchers identified that men who consumed 14 drinks a week and women who drank nine drinks a week had a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes by 43% and 58% respectively compared to heavy and non-drinkers. The risk was even lower if the drinks were spread out throughout the week instead of drinking them all at once. The risks reduced by 27% and 32% for men and women respectively. Men who consumed between one and six beers reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes by 21% while there was no effect for women who took the beer. Beer consumption in women was more likely to increase the risk of diabetes. Besides, about seven shots of hard liquor per week reduced the risk in women by 83% while the same did not affect men. The wine had the highest effect among all the drinks. Women and men who took about seven glasses of wine per week had a reduced risk of 30%. From the study, therefore, there exists a relationship between alcohol consumption patterns and diabetes type 2. Although the exact relationship between blood-sugar regulation and alcohol consumption is not well understood, it is thought that alcohol increases insulin sensitivity, therefore, reducing the rate at which diabetes may progress. The most beneficial forms of alcohol identified were wine and beer.

Problems With the Study

Some of the factors that could have affected the results include failure to consider other risk factors for diabetes such as family history, exercise and eating patterns may not have been captured in the questionnaire. The questionnaire may have failed to capture accurate details of alcohol consumption patterns due to personal factors such as forgetfulness of the study population. Despite these findings, the researchers advised against excessive consumption of alcohol for now.

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