People Who Regularly Drink Are Less Likely to Develop Diabetes, Studies Show

Before you start cheering, no, this is not permission to go on a bender. However, a new study does indicate that drinking in moderation may lower your risk of diabetes.  The study is from our neighbors across the pond, a land of drinkers who are also tackling a growing diabetic surge.

Diabetes is a growing epidemic; it is a disease in which blood glucose levels remain high. People who have diabetes either don’t make enough insulin or their bodies don’t use it effectively. Because of the ineffective amounts of insulin, sugar builds up in the blood and can lead to serious complications.

A new study by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes states that people who frequently drink alcohol may reduce their risk of developing diabetes. The study was headed by Professor Janne Tolstrup and conducted by National Institute of Public Health of the University of Southern Denmark. They looked at how drinking could be tied to diabetes. Over the course of several years, they found a diminished risk.

Tolstrup writes, “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.”

The study looked at Danish citizens and took into account their lifestyle and health. Other factors like the types of drinks the preferred, habits, diet and weight were all looked over. The data was then compiled, and researchers found that those with the lowest risk of developing diabetes were people who consumed moderate amounts of alcohol.

Men who had 14 drinks per week were found to have a 43% lower risk compared to men who stay away from alcohol. Women who had nine drinks a week had a 58% lower risk compared to those who avoid alcohol completely.

Days of the week were also a factor in the study.  The study found that those who drink 3-4 days a week had the lowest risk of diabetes.  For men that translate to a 27% lower risk and for women, it’s 27% lower risk. But the head researcher says that binge drinking is not recommended.

“We found that drinking frequency has an independent effect from the amount of alcohol taken.  We can see it’s a better effect to drink the alcohol in four portions rather than all at once,” explains Tolstrup.

And remember how they looked at the type of drinks participants preferred? Well, it turns out there really wasn’t much of a difference over people who liked beer, wine or spirits. Even people who dabbled in all three still saw a decreased risk of diabetes.

She also points out to the BBC that drinking is associated with other ailments such as gastrointestinal diseases, such as alcohol liver disease and pancreatitis.

Tolstrup said, “Alcohol is associated with 50 different conditions, so we’re not saying ‘go ahead and drink alcohol.'”

Moderation seems to be the key to any good diet—that includes one that is a bit heavy on the alcohol.

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About The Author: Born and raised in South Louisiana, Leah Richard is a graduate of Louisiana State University. She worked as a journalist for 13 years and her work has been featured on networks like CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, CNN, and CNN International.

Now, Leah enjoys her writing career almost as much as a newsroom career because it keeps her growing professionally and learning as a human being. Plus, there’s a lot less drinking at the end of the day.

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