For decades, physicians have warned us to avoid alcohol, as its high sugar content could predispose one to diabetes. Now a new study suggests it could help us avoid having high blood sugar and the ensuing health risks.
70,000 men and women, apart of a Danish survey on health, were observed for five years and asked about their drinking habits. Of the test subjects, 859 men and 887 women went on to develop diabetes. Researchers found men who drank on average two drinks a day, lessened their diabetes risk by 43%. Women who averaged 9 drinks a week had a 58% lower risk of diabetes than non drinkers. For both men and women, drinking more than one glass of wine a day decreased their risk of diabetes 25-30%.
Study author Janne Tolstrup from the University of Denmark stated, “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.”
What about beer?
For women there did not appear to be a “health benefit”. However for men, a daily beer lowered their diabetes risk by 21%.
Why? Why? and Why?
This is tricky. Those who drink heavily consume “empty calories” and sugar that the body may not be able to metabolize properly, hence leading to diabetes. But we’ve seen in many people the opposite, even their cholesterol level dropping. Is the alcohol being substituted for food and dessert? Does alcohol dilate blood vessels, improving circulation and metabolism?
This is one of very few studies linking alcohol use to health benefits, but definitely deserves attention and further investigation.
For more on diabetes, read here.