When researchers looked at people who drank they same total amount
of alcohol, they found that men who spread those drinks over three
to four days of the week were 27 percent less likely to develop
diabetes than guys who downed all their shots and beers in one
Women, meanwhile, had 32 percent lower odds of diabetes when they
spread their cocktails over several days instead of a single happy
But this is hardly a prescription to drink every day, said senior
study author Janne Tolstrup of the University of Southern Denmark.
“I wouldn’t advise a non-drinker to start drinking for their
health,” Tolstrup said by email.
“Generally, people should stick to the guidelines already there,”
which in most countries are a maximum of 7 drinks per week for women
and 14 for men, Tolstrup added.
Other studies looking at total alcohol consumption have linked light
to moderate drinking with a lower risk of diabetes than abstinence,
researchers note in Diabetologia. The odds of diabetes for binge
drinkers, meanwhile, had been similar to or greater than for
teetotalers, previous research has found.
For the current study, researchers wanted to see how much the total
amount of alcohol consumed over a week might help explain the
differing pictures of diabetes risk found in earlier research.
They examined survey data from 70,551 men and women who didn’t have
diabetes at the start of the study. Half the participants stayed in
the study for five years or more.
During the study, 859 men and 887 women developed diabetes.
Like other studies of diabetes and drinking, the current analysis
found the lowest risk for people who consumed moderate amounts of
Compared to non-drinkers, men who had 14 drinks a week were 43
percent less likely to develop diabetes and women who had nine
weekly drinks were 58 percent less likely to develop diabetes.
The study didn’t include many people who reported binge drinking,
and it didn’t find clear evidence to show whether excessive alcohol
consumption might be good or bad from the standpoint of diabetes
What people drank did appear to matter, however.
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Participants who had at least seven glasses of wine a week were 25
to 30 percent less likely to develop diabetes than people who had no
more than a single weekly glass.
Beer, however, only appeared to help men. Consuming one to six beers
a week was associated with a 21 percent lower risk of diabetes than
drinking less than one beer a week.
Spirits, meanwhile, didn’t appear to help at all and were associated
with problems for women. When women had seven or more drinks with
spirits each week, they were 83 percent more likely to develop
diabetes than women who had less than one cocktail or shot of booze
The study wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove if or how
alcohol consumption influences the odds of developing diabetes.
Other limitations include the reliance on participants to accurately
recall and report on their drinking habits, as well as the
possibility that other lifestyle factors or individual
characteristics other than drinking habits might explain why some
people got diabetes.
“The take-home message is to be very skeptical of the idea that
frequent alcohol protects against developing diabetes,” said Tim
Stockwell, director of the Center for Addictions Research and a
professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver,
“There are a number of health risks associated with even moderate
alcohol use including multiple cancers of the digestive system as
well as breast cancer and possibly prostate cancer,” Stockwell, who
wasn’t involved in the study, said by email. “People should use
alcohol sparingly if they drink and do so for pleasure and not with
the idea that it will have medicinal benefits.”
SOURCE: http://bit.ly/2vtIrk9 Diabetologia, online July 27, 2017.
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