Alcohol Reduces Diabetes Risk Says New Study From Denmark

Want to reduce your risk for diabetes? Try drinking alcohol a few times a week.

A new study, published in the medical journal Diabetologia, suggests drinking alcohol three to four times a week will reduce the risk of developing diabetes. The research monitored the drinking habits of more than 70,000 Danish participants over a five-year period, from 2007 to 2012.

According to the research, moderate drinking reduced the chance of being diagnosed with diabetes by 32 percent for women and 27 percent for men when compared to those who consumed little, if any, alcohol. Men who consumed 14 alcoholic drinks per week and women who had nine drinks per week were the least likely to develop diabetes. The survey recorded 859 men and 887 women were diagnosed with diabetes during the study period.

“Our findings suggest that alcohol drinking frequency is associated with the risk of diabetes and that consumption of alcohol over three to four weekdays is associated with the lowest risks of diabetes, even after taking average weekly alcohol consumption into account,” wrote Professor Janne Tolstrup from the University of Southern Denmark, as cited by CNBC.

The study also took note of the type of alcohol consumed. Men who drank anywhere from one glass to six glasses of beer had a 21 percent reduction in diabetes risk compared to men who drank less. There was no conclusive evidence one way or the other for women who drank beer. Wine, on the other hand, reduced diabetes risk by 25 percent for both men and women.

Women drinking clear liquor can easily get diabetes.
Drinking clear liquor can significantly increase the risk for diabetes, especially among women. [Image by Oli Scarff/Getty Images]

Clear liquor, like vodka, indicated different results. Women that drank seven or more liquor drinks actually had an 83 percent higher risk for diabetes than women drinking less. Additionally, the data did not show if men drinking liquor were at any more or less risk of developing the disorder.

While the study suggests a relationship between alcohol and reduced diabetes risk, it did not factor in other health influences like diet and exercise. Despite no involvement in the Danish study, Dr. Etto Eringa and Dr. EH Serne of VU University Medical Center Amsterdam believe the results are promising but conclude the healthier lifestyle of the participants is more likely accounting for the lower risk of diabetes. Looking at the data, they noted the individuals “had a healthier diet and lower BMI.”

Diabetes risk goes down with drinking alcohol, but other health issues may occur.
While alcohol may reduce the risk for diabetes, excessive drinking can lead to other health problems. [Image by David Ryder/Getty Images]

As excessive alcohol consumption can lead to other diseases and conditions, the study authors were careful not to make any recommendations regarding what to drink or how much. However, they do think that drinking some alcohol is better than drinking none at all.

[Featured Image by Johannes Simon/Getty Images]