July 28, 2017

Drinking regularly lowers risk of diabetes, new study finds

Diseases Studies
draught beer photologica/iStock.com

The latest tool in an effort to prevent diabetes: A glass (or two)?

A new study that looked at more than 70,000 Danish people found more reason to believe that moderate drinking does come with some health benefits.

“Our findings suggest that alcohol drinking frequency is associated with risk of diabetes,” researchers stated in a study abstract posted Thursday. “Consumption of alcohol over 3-4 days per week is associated with the lowest risk of diabetes, even after taking average weekly alcohol consumption into account.”

Translation: People who drink frequently, but don’t go overboard with it, are less likely to develop diabetes than non-drinkers.

Using data from the Danish Health Examination survey, the study surveyed the drinking habits of nearly 29,000 men and 42,000 women, and followed up five years later to see which of their subjects had since been diagnosed with diabetes.

Those who had been diagnosed the least were men who consumed 14 drinks a week and women who had nine drinks each week, researchers said.

The study did not specifically examine whether the type of diabetes matters as it relates to alcohol consumption. Type-2 diabetes is the more common type caused by lifestyle factors and family history. Type-1 diabetes prevents the body from producing normal levels of insulin, and is not preventable.

Researchers found that participants who spread out their drinking throughout the week – instead of in a day or two – had the lowest risk of developing the disease.

Risk started to rise for those who drank more, according to Businessinsider.com. Still, even heavier drinkers – up to 40 per week for men and 28 per week for women – had a lower risk of developing the disease than those who don’t drink at all.

What people drank also mattered. Wine drinkers were found least likely to develop diabetes, while those who prefer the hard stuff were at the highest risk.