A study from scientists in Denmark could have those who enjoy their wine reaching for another glass: Researchers found that drinking in moderation could be linked to a lower risk for developing type two diabetes. The results were published in the journal Diabetologia. Diabetes is a chronic disease characterized by abnormally high blood sugar levels, and it is estimated to affect some 29.1 million Americans, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
Details of the Danish study
The study was observational in nature. Researchers gathered two pools of Danish participants - 41,847 women and 28,704 men. All of the individuals examined were free of diabetes at the beginning of the study. The objective of the project was to determine the relationship, if any, between alcohol consumption and the risk of developing diabetes, specifically Type 2. Consequently, participants were asked [to relay information to the researchers about their drinking habits - namely how much they drank and how often. Each participant provided this information consistently over a period of around five years. The scientists also took into account other factors that may have elevated a participant's risk for developing diabetes, such as exercise habits, smoking, diet, blood pressure levels and family history.
The results indicated moderate alcohol consumption could actually help lower individual risk, and to a substantial degree. The women who drank nine drinks a week had, on average, a 58 percent lower risk of Type 2 diabetes than teetotalers. The results for men were similar: Those who drank the equivalent of two alcoholic beverages a day enjoyed a 43 percent lower risk for developing Type 2 diabetes when compared with those who didn't drink at all.
Consumption frequency connected with lower risk
Another interesting finding from the study was that the number of days an individual drinks each week could also be related to Type 2 diabetes risk. The researchers discovered those who drank more often in the week - on three or four days - had a lower risk for developing the illness than those who drank only once a week.
The source noted the scientists couldn't determine whether certain kinds of alcohol were more beneficial than others. They also couldn't explain explain why alcohol seemingly lowers risk - further investigation is needed in this area.
Researchers stressed that results should by no means be interpreted as a green light for excessive alcohol consumption. Drinking heavily can lead to range of other health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver and certain types of cancer. It is important, therefore, to drink responsibly - one beverage a day for women and two drinks a day for men.