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Drinking Wine May Benefit People with Type 2 Diabetes

Research has found that drinking wine may improve markers of heart disease risk and blood glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes. The study, published in Annals of Internal Medicine, included 224 patients who abstained from alcohol and had well-managed type 2 diabetes. Patients followed a Mediterranean diet and were randomly assigned to drink 150 ml of mineral water, red wine, or white wine with dinner every day for two years. Researchers monitored a range of health markers such as blood pressure, liver biomarkers, diabetes symptoms, and quality of life. Patients were also evaluated for genetic variants that affect alcohol metabolisms. At the end of the study, here is what the researchers found:

  • Patients who drank red wine had a statistically significant increase in their HDL (“good”) cholesterol and an improvement in their ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol, compared with patients who drank white wine or mineral water.
  • Patients who drank red or white wine, and who had a genetic variant that caused slower alcohol metabolism, experienced statistically significant improvements in fasting blood sugar levels and markers of insulin resistance and blood glucose control. In contrast, wine drinkers with fast alcohol metabolism did not have these improvements.
  • Patients who drank either red or white wine experienced better sleep quality compared with patients who drank mineral water.

These findings are interesting because they suggest that moderate alcohol intake could provide health benefits for people with type 2 diabetes. However, this two-year study could not measure the effect of alcohol on important long-term outcomes such as heart attack, stroke, diabetes-related complications, and mortality. Therefore, more research is needed to understand the results of moderate drinking in people with diabetes. For now, according to Dr. William Yancy (Duke University Department of Medicine, Durham, NC) who examined the study, it’s reasonable to say that, “if you're drinking in moderation, keep doing it."

Source: Annals of Internal Medicine

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