Diabetes mellitus - often referred to simply as diabetes - is a condition in which the body either does not produce any insulin (Type 1) or not enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas to overcome the underlying insulin resistance of the cells in the body (Type 2). Insulin enables glucose (sugar) to enter the cells in order to be stored as glycogen or oxidized for energy. These defects cause glucose to accumulate in the blood, inevitably leading to serious complications. The positive effects of moderate wine and other alcoholic beverage consumption are only relevant for individuals with type-2 diabetes.


Type 2 Diabetes


The underlying defect is insulin resistance due to obesity and lack of exercise. Insulin resistance means that the cells do not respond to the insulin signal. In return, the pancreas tries to overcome this resistance by increasing the insulin output which enables the glucose to enter the cells. Once the beta-cells cannot compensate the high demand of insulin for proper function, the glucose will remain in the blood leading to an increased blood sugar level. Approximately 90% of all cases of diabetes worldwide are type 2.


In 2010, the International Diabetes Federation estimated the global prevalence of diabetes mellitus at 6.6% in adults. Type-2 diabetes is now one of the most common non-communicable diseases in the world and a major cause of premature illness and death in most countries. To prevent diabetic complications and premature death, patients are recommended to adopt a healthy lifestyle.  


Evidence from randomized-controlled intervention studies as well as from population studies have demonstrated that light to moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages will improve insulin sensitivity in insulin resistant people. Accordingly, large prospective studies have shown a reduced risk for developing the metabolic syndrome (MS, name for a group of risk factors that raise the risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. A metabolic syndrome exists when at least 3 of the following risk factors are present: overweight, high triglyceride level, elevated plasma glucose level,  low HDL cholesterol level and high blood pressure) . A moderate intake of  wine as well as other alcoholic beverages exerts a beneficial effect on MS. In addition, large population studies suggest that light to moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages is associated with a lower diabetic risk than abstaining or heavy drinking, independently of the type of alcoholic beverage consumed. Meta-analyses reported a J-shaped relationship for men and women with a reduced risk for a moderate intake of alcoholic beverages and an increased risk for more than 50-60 g/d. With regards to wine and diabetes, most studies found  beneficial effects. But not only the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is decreased with moderate drinking; it may also reduce CHD and CVD mortality in diabetics as well as potential cardiac complications relating to diabetes. This is especially important considering that coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death among individuals with type-2 diabetes, who also have a 4-fold increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Research indicates that this risk decreases considerably when they consume wine moderately with meals.


Considering the world-wide epidemic of type 2 diabetes which is expected to rise even further and is associated with major health care costs, preventing diabetes is a major public health issue. It seems that drinking wine in moderation could  help reduce type 2 diabetes and thereby contribute to public health.

The above summary provides an overview of the topic, for more details and specific questions, please refer to the articles in the database.





BACKGROUND AND AIMS: We investigated whether alcohol intake has a causal relationship with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) risk in adults of the Korean Genomic Epidemiology Study using two-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) analysis. METHODS AND RESULTS: Daily alcohol intake was calculated based on the type, average amount, and frequency of alcohol consumption for six months before the interview. The participants were divided into low- and high-alcohol intake of 20 g/day. After adjusting for the covariates related to T2DM, the independent genetic variants (instrumental variables) related to alcohol intake were explored by GWAS analysis in a city hospital-based cohort (n = 58,701). SNPs with a significant level of p-value
AIM: We aimed to investigate the combined impact of liver enzymes and alcohol consumption on the diabetes risk. METHODS: Data on 5972 non-diabetic participants aged 30-79 years from the Suita study were analyzed. Diabetes incidence was surveyed every 2 years. Current daily alcohol consumption was defined as light drinking (/= 46.0 g and >/= 23.0 g). The nondrinkers category included both never-drinkers and former drinkers. RESULTS: During the median follow-up of 13 years, 597 incident diabetes cases were diagnosed. Higher levels of gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), alanine aminotransferase (GPT), and aspartate aminotransferase (GOT) were associated with an increased diabetes risk,…
BACKGROUND: The influence of overall lifestyle behaviors on diabetic microvascular complications remains unknown. In addition, the potential mediating biomarkers underlying the association is unclear. This study aimed to examine the associations of the combined lifestyle factors with risks of total and individual microvascular complications among patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and to explore the potential mediation effects of metabolic biomarkers. METHODS AND FINDINGS: This retrospective cohort study included 15,104 patients with T2D free of macro- and microvascular complications at baseline (2006 to 2010) from the UK Biobank. Healthy lifestyle behaviors included noncurrent smoking, recommended waist circumference, regular physical activity, healthy diet, and moderate alcohol drinking. Outcomes were ascertained using electronic health records. Over a median of 8.1 years of…
BACKGROUND: Previous studies on alcohol drinking and health largely have ignored the potential impact of the timing of drinking. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to investigate the joint associations of the timing of alcohol intake with respect to meals (i.e., with meals or outside of meals) and the amount of alcohol consumed with the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). METHODS: A total of 312,388 current drinkers from the UK Biobank without T2D at baseline were included. Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine the association between the timing of alcohol intake with respect to meals and the risk of T2D. RESULTS: During a median of 10.9 y of follow-up, 8598 incident cases of T2D were documented. After adjustment for covariates…
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