Friday, 30 April 2010

Moderate Drinking Reduces Diabetes Risk

Moderate Drinking Reduces Diabetes Risk

Adults who have a drink or two every day have a lower risk of developing diabetes than teetotalers - and the link cannot be explained by moderate drinkers' generally healthier lifestyle.

A number of studies have found an association between moderate drinking and a relatively lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but whether this reflects a direct effect of alcohol has been unclear. A compounding issue is the fact that compared with both non-drinkers and heavy drinkers; moderate drinkers generally tend to have a healthier lifestyle.

To see whether moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, researchers from the Netherlands studied 35,625 adults, aged between 20 and 70 years free of diabetes, heart disease and cancer at the outset. Participants had their weight, height and waist and hip circumference measured and completed questionnaires on their health and lifestyle habits.

Over the next 10 years, 796 study participants developed type 2 diabetes. It was found those who averaged a drink or two per day were 45 percent less likely than teetotalers to develop type 2 diabetes. In other words, moderate drinkers - up to a drink per day for women, and up to two for men - were less likely to develop the disease than non-drinkers. The association remained true when the researchers excluded the effects of other lifestyle-related factors. For example, when they looked only at normal-weight men and women, moderate drinkers were 65 percent less likely to develop diabetes than teetotalers. Similarly, among regular exercisers, moderate drinkers had a 35 percent lower risk of diabetes.

Despite the link between alcohol and a lower risk of developing diabetes, people should not use this as an excuse to start drinking.

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