Alcohol May Protect You from Type 2 Diabetes

Written by Bonnie Sanders Polin PhD

The last week of November is filled with headlines that I hope will bring new understanding for you and your family about diabetes.

Alcohol and Type 2 Diabetes
The November issue of Diabetes Care has an article I selected because we’ve just entered the holiday season—and people are surrounded with alcohol at parties and get-togethers. Alcohol can affect your blood glucose levels, so do not drink unless you are eating, too. Also make sure to add the calories and carbs up so that you remain under control and can adjust your insulin and medications accordingly.

The Diabetes Care article “Alcohol as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, A systematic review and meta-analysis” is by Dolly O. Baliunas, MSC et al. The authors’ research was geared towards understanding the relationship between alcohol consumption and the development of type 2 diabetes. They reviewed 20 other studies to look for commonalities.

The researchers concluded that moderate alcohol consumption may protect both men and women from developing type 2 diabetes. They found a U-shaped relationship for both sexes. That means that not drinking alcohol doesn’t offer protection from developing type 2 diabetes. However, a little daily alcohol consumption may protect you from developing type 2 diabetes. Too much alcohol every day may actually increase your risk.

For men, drinking 22g/day of alcohol was protective; drinking 60g/day was harmful. For women, drinking 24g/day of alcohol was protective; 50g/day was harmful.

This, of course, doesn’t give you free rein to drink, nor does this study imply that drinking alcohol will definitely protect you from developing type 2 diabetes. It is, however, interesting to note.

To read more about the study, you can go to the article abstract.