Type 2 diabetics benefit from moderate alcohol consumption


According to a recent study, drinking moderate amounts of red wine can lower cardiometabolic risk markers in type 2 diabetics. Cardiometabolic risk is the likelihood of developing additional conditions such as heart disease or stroke.

Over the years, I’ve written a lot about the health benefits associated with drinking moderate amounts of red wine. Most of these benefits all come down to a powerful compound found in the skin of red grapes, called resveratrol.

I’ll drink to that…

In this latest two-year study, researchers recruited 224 patients with controlled type 2 diabetes from two centres in Israel. The results showed that those participants who consumed 150 mL of red wine per day, as part of following a Mediterranean Diet, had significantly higher levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, compared to those who drank an equivalent amount of water on the same diet.

In addition, another group of participants who drank white wine decreased their fasting blood sugar levels and both red and white wine drinkers also significantly improved their triglyceride levels (blood fats).

Furthermore, neither red nor white wine drinkers experienced significant changes in blood pressure, body weight, liver function, or use of medications. As an added benefit, both red and white wine drinkers had significantly improved sleep quality.

Previous research has also shown that supplementing with resveratrol for four weeks resulted in lower after-meal glucose levels and better insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetics.

Another study, involving 57 type 2 diabetics who all had stiffness of the aorta (the artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body), showed that after supplementing with resveratrol aortic stiffness decreased.

The researchers also found that those participants who supplemented with as little as 100mgs of resveratrol reduced their aortic stiffness by nearly 5 per cent, while 300mgs reduced it by 9 per cent.

Yet another recent study showed that resveratrol also guards against the build-up of plaque in your arteries by reducing an artery-clogging compound produced by your gut.

Clearly, the science shows that resveratrol (found in abundance in red wine) dilates peripheral blood vessels, helps blood circulation, improves good cholesterol levels, helps control blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, and reduces artery stiffness — all fantastic benefits for both diabetics and those suffering with cardiovascular disease.

So, whether you are diabetic or not, there’s no harm in enjoying a glass of red wine occasionally. Combine this with a Mediterranean diet — rich in olive oil, fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts, whole grains and fish — you’re on a winning streak… especially for diabetics because previous research has found that after six months of following the Mediterranean diet, type 2 diabetics lowered their blood sugar, lost weight, boosted their good cholesterol, and dropped their triglyceride levels.

Now, I’ll definitely drink to that!

Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.


Effects of Initiating Moderate Alcohol Intake on Cardiometabolic Risk in Adults With Type 2 Diabetes: A 2-Year Randomized, Controlled Trial,” Annals Internal Medicine 2015 Oct 20;163(8):569-79

Red Wine Antioxidant Might Help Diabetics’ Arteries, medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_165223.html

Can the Antioxidant Resveratrol Reduce Artery Stiffness in Diabetics?, newsroom.heart.org/news/can-the-antioxidant-resveratrol-reduce-artery-stiffness-in-diabetics

Resveratrol May Benefit Diabetics’ Cardiovascular Health, worldhealth.net/news/resveratrol-diabetes-arteries-stiffness-cardiovasc/

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