Moderate drinking may help control blood sugar

September 24, 2002 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News

Moderate drinking may help control blood sugar

A study from the University of Cambridge in the UK, has found that drinking moderate amounts of wine, beer or hard alcohol is associated with better blood glucose (sugar) control among healthy adults, particularly women.

The researchers used hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c), a test that measures a person's average blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. High blood sugar over the long term among non-diabetic people, as measured by HbA1c, has been linked to an increased risk of death from all causes as well as death from heart and blood vessel disease. High HbA1c levels can also indicate an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Women who drank any kind of alcohol had lower HbA1c, regardless of their body mass index (BMI). BMI is a measure of a person's weight in relation to their height and is used to gauge obesity. In men, however, only wine was associated with healthier blood glucose levels. The researchers suggest that lifestyle and personality traits associated with wine drinking may account for the finding, as previous studies have linked beer drinking among men to smoking, hostility and a less healthy diet.

Drinking wine, on the other hand, is associated with healthy lifestyle behaviors such as not smoking and avoiding obesity, as well as a higher level of education. Wine also tends to be consumed with meals, which would blunt the effects of alcohol on the body.

Whatever the reason, the results support those of previous studies and "provide further evidence that moderate alcohol consumption may be one component of a healthy lifestyle," said the scientists.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.