Healthy Living

Moderate Drinking May Help Lower the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Moderate Drinking May Help Lower the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Everyone has a different opinion on whether or not alcohol is good, or bad, for someone's health. Either way, their opinion is completely understandable, but many still wonder if they're drinking too much or too little. 

Could how much someone drinks affect their overall health? While many are aware of the negative effects that alcohol can have, many are unaware of its added health benefits. According to a foremost study conducted in Denmark, drinking reasonable amounts of alcohol may actually lower your possibility of getting type 2 diabetes. And surprisingly enough, teetotalers, or rather those who abstain from drinking alcohol, run a higher chance of getting diabetes!

The Danish paper published in Diabetologia (the Journal of the European Association for the Study of  Diabetes) established that men & women who drank 3 to 4 days a week had the lowest possibility of developing diabetes when compared to people who drank only one day a week. As regards to gender, researchers mentioned that men who drank regularly had a 27 percent lower risk, whereas women had a 32 percent lower risk. 

The Danish investigation included approximately 76,484 participants (28,704 men & 41,847 women) who were tracked for a median of 4.9 years (from 2008-2012). The researchers used self-reported questionnaires to obtain information on alcohol drinking patterns, such as the rate of alcohol drinking, rate of binge drinking, and use of wine, beer and spirits, and general average weekly alcohol drinking.

Research outcome and what this may mean for you

All through follow-up, 859 men & 887 women developed diabetes. Researchers established that drinking patterns were key to getting benefits; for instance, spreading drinks out instead of downing them at once. The lowest risk of diabetes was noticed at 14 drinks per week in men and in women at 9 drinks per week. The Danish study also established that women had a considerably higher risk (82 percent) of having diabetes when consuming spirits (hard liquor) as opposed to wine.

A prior study published in Diabetes Care in 2005, also established that moderate drinkers who drank 6-48 grams/day of alcohol had a 30 percent lower risk of getting type 2  diabetes than heavier consumers or total abstainers.

But wait! Before you run over to the nearest bar believing you’re clearly not drinking enough, consider this: drinking rate is the not the same as volume; and exercise, diet, health, Body Mass Index, and family history are factors that will determine whether or not you may develop diabetes in the future.

Here’s what you should know now: 

In the U.S., a standard drink contains about 12 to 14 grams of alcohol; in Europe/Australia, 10 grams; and in Japan, 21 grams.  Therefore, to put things in the right perspective, a bottle of red wine contains 25 fluid ounces or approximately 700 grams of alcohol poured into 5 glasses. If you are a woman, 3 to 4 glasses of wine over 3 to 4 days a week should be sufficient to quench your thirst and assist reduce your risk. 

Read on to learn more about how moderate, not binge, drinking may help lower the risk of diabetes.