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Drinking most days may protect against diabetes – new study

Wine
Frequency of alcohol consumption was linked to diabetes risk CREDIT: GETTY

Drinking alcohol most days of the week significantly protects against developing diabetes, a new study suggests.

Data from more than 70,000 drinkers found that having a drink on three or four days per week was associated with a reduced risk of 27 per cent in men and 32 per cent in women, compared with abstaining.

Wine had the biggest effect, with scientists suggesting that its chemical compounds improve blood-sugar balance.

However, researchers have warned women to stay clear of gin and other spirits, which were associated with an increased of diabetes for women by 83 per cent.

Our findings suggest that alcohol drinking frequency is associated with the risk of diabetesProfessor Janne Tolstrup, University of Southern Denmark

Previous studies had already suggested that light to moderate alcohol consumption can cut the risk of diabetes, but the new research is the first to focus on drinking frequency.

Scientists studied data on 70,551 men and women taking part in a large Danish health survey who were quizzed about their drinking habits and monitored for five years.

The authors, led by Professor Janne Tolstrup from the University of Southern Denmark, who said: “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.”

During the follow-up period, a total of 859 men and 887 women from the study group developed diabetes.

Diabetes blood test
Rates of type 2 diabetes continue to increase CREDIT: PETER BYRNE/PA

The investigation did not distinguish between the two forms of diabetes, Type 1 and the much more common Type 2.

In terms of the amount of alcohol consumed, men who downed 14 drinks per week were 43 per cent less likely to develop diabetes than those who drank nothing.

The diabetes risk to women who consumed nine drinks per week was 58 per cent lower than it was for non-drinkers.

For both men and women, seven or more glasses of wine per week lowered the risk of diabetes by 25 per cent 30 per cent compared with having less than one drink of wine.

One to six beers per week reduced diabetes risk by 21 per cent in men but had no effect on women.

Other scientists have cautioned that the data does not prove a causal link between drinking levels and the likelihood of diabetes.

Dr Graham Wheeler, a medical statistician at University College London, said: “Establishing a biological mechanism for how this protective effect might work is key to understanding the findings of these types of study.”

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The research is published in the journal Diabetologia.

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This entry was posted on July 28, 2017 by and tagged , , .

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