A new study is of the view that regularly drinking a moderate amount of certain alcoholic drinks could reduce a person’s chances of developing diabetes.
Alcoholic drinks, especially wine appears to be particularly beneficial, probably as it plays a role in helping to manage blood sugar, the study, published in Diabetologia, said.
It added that gin could have the opposite effect, along with other spirits, increasing women’s chances of getting diabetes by 83%.
Carried out by Professor Janne Tolstrup and a team from the National Institute of Public Health of the University of Southern Denmark, the researchers looked at the effects of drinking frequency on diabetes risk, and a potential association between risk and specific beverage types.
The team analyzed data from the Danish Health Examination Survey (DAHNES) from 2007-2008, looking at 70,551 DAHNES participants who had provided details of their alcohol consumption and followed the subjects for a median of 4.9 years.
“Our findings suggest that alcohol drinking frequency is associated with the risk of diabetes and that consumption of alcohol over three to four weekdays is associated with the lowest risks of diabetes, even after taking average weekly alcohol consumption into account,” Tolstrup said.
The researchers concluded that drinking moderately three to four times a week reduced a woman’s risk of diabetes by 32% while it lowered a man’s by 27%, compared with people drinking on less than one day a week.
However, the experts said this wasn’t a “green light” to drink more than recommended.
Dr Emily Burns, the head of research communications at Diabetes UK, said: “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, especially as the impact of regular alcohol consumption on the risk of type 2 will be different from one person to the next.”
Despite the findings in the current study, alcohol consumption has been linked to a variety of other health conditions in other studies, including cancer and cardiovascular disease, with results on how much alcohol can lower or increase risk of other diseases still mixed.