Drinking alcohol frequency could 'lower your risk of diabetes', scientists reveal

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Drinking moderately three to four times a week was shown to be associated with a 32 per cent lower risk of diabetes for women, and 27 per cent lower risk for men, compared to those who drank alcohol less than one day a week.

Women can cut their odds by nearly a third, with the polyphenols from the grapes in red wine believed to help control blood sugar. However for men, a daily beer lowered their diabetes risk by 21%.

During the course of the study, researchers surveyed 70,000 people on the level and regularity of their alcohol intake. On the contrary women who drank more were at a greater risk of developing diabetes.

"Recommendations for alcohol in this case cannot be taken from a single study with only one outcome, because alcohol is associated with risk of more than 50 different diseases", said Janne Tolstrup, Ph.D., of the National Institute of Public Health in Copenhagen. Researchers found men who drank on average two drinks a day, lessened their diabetes risk by 43%. Participants were followed for a median of 4.9 years. As type 2 diabetes is much more common, the clear majority of diabetes diagnoses recorded will have been for type 2 diabetes. Specifically, the study found that for men, drinking 14 drinks per week was associated with a 41 percent lower risk of diabetes compared with no drinks, and for women, drinking nine drinks per week was associated with a 58 percent lower risk of diabetes.

Janne Tolstrup, a professor from the national institute of public health of the University of Southern Denmark, who led the research, said: "We found that drinking frequency has an independent effect from the amount of alcohol taken".

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Researchers can't say why alcohol might protect against diabetes, since this was an observational study rather than an experiment or clinical trial, Tolstrup said.

The timing of those drinks also mattered.

On the other hand, women who drank seven or more drinks of hard liquor a week saw an 83 percent increased risk of diabetes compared to those who drank less than one "shot" a week. People who have diabetes either don't make enough insulin or don't use it effectively. "Drinking frequency was important, as those who were drinking three to four times per week had lower risk as compared to those drinking only once per week - regardless of the total weekly amount".

"However, we do not recommend that anyone drink alcohol for its potential health benefits - for adults who do choose to drink, it is important to drink in moderation". For women across all alcohol frequency groups, wine represented more than half of all alcohol intake. Now a new study suggests it could help us avoid having high blood sugar and the ensuing health risks.

Also, the study only found an association between alcohol consumption and diabetes risk, not a cause-and-effect connection. In other words, it's possible that binge drinking is linked to diabetes risk, but more research is needed.