Drinking alcohol four times a week reduces risk of diabetes, study says

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The Danish scientists, led by Professor Janne Tolstrup from the University of Southern Denmark, publishing their findings in the journal Diabetologia. Although the mechanism is still hazy, researchers suggest higher concentrations of tannins have an inhibiting effect on the action of carbohydrate-reducing enzymes.

Men and women who hoist a few glasses three to four days a week have the lowest risks of developing diabetes, Danish researchers found.

Adrian Vella of the Mayo Clinic told CBS News that studies that rely on participants' self-reported food and alcohol consumption could be inaccurate, since they may struggle to recall exactly what they ate and drank in the past. To look at their alcohol consumption patterns they were given questionnaires to fill. The survey of more than 70,000 people was done in 2007-2008.

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 23.1 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes, though an additional 7.2 million people are suspected of having the disease. Frequency appears to be more important than quantity.

Drinking beer seemed to affect men and women differently.

Information on participants' incidence of diabetes was obtained from the Danish National Diabetes Register.

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The data was also adjusted based on other factors - family history of diabetes and diet are clearly important, as is age, sex, level of education and exercise, body mass index, and smoking status, which were all taken into account while producing the statistics. Women who had nine drinks per week were at a 58 per cent lower risk over women who did not drink at all. Meanwhile, there was no relationship between binge drinking and diabetes risk. Drinking 1 to 6 beers per week was associated with a 21 percent lower risk of diabetes in men compared to men who drank less than 1 beer per week, but in women there was no relation. A very long follow-up, for instance, 10 years, would result in drinking and other habits changing and this could "cause more "noise" in results", said Tolstrup.

The authors found, however, that gin and vodka may not work as well as wine and beer, with women drinking seven or more drinks of spirits a week raising their diabetes risk by 83 per cent over those who had less than one a week.

Drinking some types of alcohol up to four times a week can significantly protect against diabetes, a study has suggested. Here, the benefits of alcohol were seen regardless of whether someone was overweight or not.

Dr. Ronald Tamler, medical director at the Mount Sinai Clinical Diabetes Institute, was not involved in the new study, but says it confirms observations from previous research.

When we compare wine with beer, the wine has more benefits. The impact of the regular alcohol consumption regarding the Type 2 risk will differ from person to person.