A drink most days keeps diabetes away

A glass of red wine

When assessing the risk between frequency of alcohol drinking and type 2 diabetes incidence, researchers found that only consumption of alcohol 3 to 4 days per week was associated with a reduced risk for developing diabetes, after adjusting for average weekly alcohol amount and other confounders; HR for men was 0.73 (95% CI, 0.59-0.94), and HR for women was 0.68 (95% CI, 0.53-0.88).

Red wine is said to be more beneficial, owing to its ability in helping to manage blood sugar.

When it came to beer, men who drank between one and six each week reduced their risk of diabetes by 21% compared to men hoisting less than one beer each week.

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.

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The "findings suggest that alcohol drinking frequency is associated with risk of diabetes, and that consumption of alcohol over three to four days per week is associated with the lowest risk of diabetes, even after taking average weekly alcohol consumption into account", the researchers, led by Charlotte Holst, a doctoral student of public health at the University of Southern Denmark, wrote. Respondents were quizzed about their drinking habits and monitored for five years.

Dr. Ronald Tamler, medical director at the Mount Sinai Clinical Diabetes Institute, was not involved in the new study, but says it confirms observations from previous research.

According to the new study, "the lowest risk of diabetes was observed at 14 drinks/week in men and at 9 drinks/week in women", though all drinks are not created equal. "For this reason, we can not say with certainty that alcohol has a protective effect".

"Binge drinkers can also develop unpleasant short-term effects, such as sweating, shaking, bad skin, diarrhoea, blackouts and problems sleeping".

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Women however showed an 83% increased risk of diabetes if they drank 7 or more drinks of spirits per week when compared with women consuming less than 1 drink, although there was no statistically significant association for men.

"While these findings are interesting, we wouldn't recommend people see them as a green light to drink in excess of the existing NHS guidelines".

"Any recommendations about how to drink and how much to drink should not be inferred from this study", she says, "or any study investigating associations between alcohol and a single outcome such as diabetes".

"Beer contains the essential mineral, silicon, making women drinkers less likely to suffer from osteoporosis. Several factors contribute to it, including family history, ethnic background, age and being overweight", Dr. Emily Burns, head of Research Communications at Diabetes UK, told CNBC via email Friday. For women, the same frequency was associated with a 32 percent lower risk.

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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.

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