Alcohol Linked to Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Beautiful woman smiling as she is wine tasting on a summer day.

Judicious alcohol consumption is linked to lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes: 40% lower risk in women, 13% lower in men.

Why does this matter?

  • In 2009, 24 million in the U.S. had diabetes. Another 57 million had pre-diabetes, a condition that increases your risk for diabetes.

  • At least 23% of U.S. adults over 60 have diabetes.

In 2009, Diabetes Care reported the comparison of lifetime abstainers with alcohol drinkers. The protective “dose” of alcohol is 22–24 grams a day. I’ll leave it to you to figure out how much alcohol that is. Prior studies looking at overall health benefits of alcohol indicate that judicious consumption is ≤ one drink daily, on average, for women, and ≤ 2 drinks a day for men.

Of course, many people shouldn’t drink any alcohol.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Reference: Baliunas, D., et al. Alcohol as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabetes Care, 32 (2009): 2,123-2,132.

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