Can Drinking Alcohol Help Reduce Your Diabetes Risk?

alcohol and diabetes risk

We often hear that drinking a glass of wine during lunch has many health benefits. Recent research shows that reducing diabetes risk may be one of the key reasons why you should consider enjoying an alcoholic beverage several times a week. Let’s see what the latest research says about the link between alcohol and diabetes risk.

Research on Alcohol and Diabetes Risk

The latest study that explored this link is a 2017 Danish study published in the journal Diabetologia. The study examined the drinking habits of more than 70,000 people and found that drinking alcohol between three and four times every week can reduce diabetes risk by 27% in men and 32% in women.

When it comes to the amount of alcohol, researchers found that 14 drinks a week is optimal for men, while nine drinks a week reduced diabetes risk in women by 58%. Of all alcoholic beverages, wine seems to have the best effect, as seven or more glasses each week lowered diabetes risk by 25 to 30 percent.

Why Does This Happen?

The connection between alcohol and diabetes is not new in the medical community. For example, a 2015 study found that moderate consumption of red wine (a glass per day) can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease for people with type 2 diabetes.

However, scientists are still not sure how this relationship works. One possible explanation are polyphenols – compounds often found in wine that may help prevent heart disease and cancer.

The Bottom Line

There seems to be a link between alcohol and diabetes risk. However, we need more research to learn how this biological mechanism works and how we can use it. If you do decide to introduce more alcohol to your diet, remember that the old “everything in moderation” rule certainly applies to alcohol.