Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Can drinking alcohol help prevent and treat type 2 diabetes?

It is commonly believed that drinking alcohol will worsen blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes but the evidence shows otherwise.   In an analysis of the available randomized studies that compared patients with diabetes who drank alcohol with those that did not, alcohol was found to make no difference to blood sugar control [1].  Furthermore, there are important potential benefits for moderate alcohol intake (up to one drink daily) in patients with type 2 diabetes:

§  Better sleep and improved markers of cardio-metabolic risk control, especially with red wine [2]

§  Less risk of death from any cause [3]

§  Less heart disease and stroke [3]

§  Less risk of kidney disease [4]

In addition, for people without type 2 diabetes, moderate alcohol consumption significantly reduced the risk of developing diabetes [5] and has anti-inflammatory benefits. [6]

My recommendation:
For those who can avoid drinking to excess, with or without type 2 diabetes, one 5-ounce serving of red wine with a meal remains a reasonable choice. For more information on alcohol and health, see Good Food, Great Medicine (3rd edition) page 39.

Miles Hassell MD
 






 

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  2. Great Info! Thank you for this!

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