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Can Moderate Drinking Prevent Diabetes? KDWN's Dr. Daliah Takes A Look

29 July 2017

Drinking some types of alcohol up to four times a week can significantly protect against diabetes, a study has suggested.

The study, based on data from the Danish Health Examination Survey 2007-2008 and released Thursday, revealed that people who drink between three and four times a week were less likely to develop diabetes than those who never consumed alcohol.

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.

Of the study's participants, only 2.5 percent developed diabetes during the study, but those who did usually drank alcohol less than once per week. "Other epidemiological studies have suggested that consumers of moderate levels of alcohol have a lower risk for type 2 diabetes compared with non-drinkers".

However women who drink spirits frequently had an increased risk of diabetes, the study found. The researchers found a 27 percent lower risk in men and a 32 percent lower risk in women who drank on about half the days of a typical week. These people were followed through 2012, with an average follow-up of about five years.

"There is growing evidence that moderate alcohol intake may be a risk factor for atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disturbance in the world, but the mechanism by which alcohol may lead to atrial fibrillation is unknown", Gregory Marcus, researcher at the University of California, San Francisco was quoted by IANS.

Men consuming 14 drinks per week were found to have a 43 per cent lower risk of diabetes relative to no alcohol intake, and women consuming nine drinks per week had a 58 per cent lower risk compared with women who did not drink at all.

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To assess e-cigarette use and associated changes in population smoking cessation in the U.S., researchers analyzed data from U.S. Zhu added that a national tobacco control campaign that began airing in 2012 probably also helped boost quit rates.

The timing of those drinks also mattered.

For both genders, seven glasses of wine a week lowered the risk of diabetes by 25% to 30% compared with having less than one glass. Polyphenols play a role in helping to manage blood sugar.

Drinking beer seemed to affect men and women differently. Several risk factors for type 2 diabetes include lifestyle factors, body weight, especially around the waist, and family history.

"Alcohol is associated with 50 different conditions, so we're not saying "go ahead and drink alcohol", the health expert added.

Questionnaires asked survey respondents to give details about their drinking patterns, whether they're abstainers, lifetime and current to reduce the risk of bias as a result of those who abstain because of health issues. The study did not, for example, take into account the increased risk of breast cancer that's been associated with even low levels of alcohol consumption.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excess alcohol consumption contributes to almost 90,000 deaths annually in the U.S. Binge drinking is associated with liver, kidney and cardiovascular diseases.

Can Moderate Drinking Prevent Diabetes? KDWN's Dr. Daliah Takes A Look