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.





OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to meta-analyze epidemiological studies and clinical trials that have assessed the effect of a Mediterranean diet on metabolic syndrome (MS) as well as its components. BACKGROUND: The Mediterranean diet has long been associated with low cardiovascular disease risk in adult population. METHODS: The authors conducted a systematic review and random effects meta-analysis of epidemiological studies and randomized controlled trials, including English-language publications in PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials until April 30, 2010; 50 original research studies (35 clinical trials, 2 prospective and 13 cross-sectional), with 534,906 participants, were included in the analysis. RESULTS: The combined effect of prospective studies and clinical trials showed that adherence…
OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to estimate relationships between life-course drinking patterns and the risks of self-reported diabetes, heart problems, and hypertension. METHOD: Respondents to the 2005 National Alcohol Survey, age 40 and older, reported ever having a doctor or health professional diagnose each of the health-problem outcomes. Retrospective earlier-life drinking patterns were characterized by lifetime abstention and the frequency of 5+ drinking days (i.e., days on which five or more drinks were consumed) in the respondent's teens, 20s, and 30s. Past-year drinking patterns were measured through intake volume and 5+ days. Potential confounders in the domains of demographics, socioeconomic resources, and other health-risk variables-that is, depression, distress, sense of coherence, body mass index, tobacco use, marijuana use,…
BACKBROUND : This study assessed the effect on incident metabolic syndrome (MetS) of alcohol consumption status at baseline and changes in that status during a follow-up period. METHODS AND RESULTS: 4,505 men without MetS at baseline were followed for an average of 3 years. Subjects were divided into 4 categories of alcohol consumption status at baseline and changes in that status in the follow-up period. The overall incidence of MetS was 10.6%: 7.0% in the non-drinkers, 10.3% in the light drinkers, 13.8% in the moderate drinkers, and 15.6% in the heavy drinkers (P<0.001). All of the 3 drinker groups at baseline had higher odds ratios for the incidence of MetS than the non-drinkers (OR [95% confidence interval]: 1.51 [1.06-2.13] in…
BACKGROUND: The incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) is increasing sharply in Korea, and evidence has suggested the role of dietary methyl supply and related polymorphisms on colorectal carcinogenesis. OBJECTIVE: We investigated the association between folate and alcohol intake, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T polymorphism, and CRC risk in Koreans. DESIGN: A total of 787 cases and 656 controls were recruited from 2 university hospitals. Multiple logistic regression models were used to estimate ORs and corresponding 95% CIs. RESULTS: MTHFR 677T homozygotes were at a lower risk of CRC (OR: 0.60; 95% CI: 0.46, 0.78 for TT compared with CC/CT). High folate intake was associated with reduced CRC risk (OR: 0.64; 95% CI: 0.49, 0.84 for high compared with low intake), and…
Disparities in associations of alcohol consumption to various cardiovascular conditions lead to separate consideration of several. These include (1) Alcoholic cardiomyopathy from chronic heavy drinking in susceptible persons. (2) Higher blood pressure (hypertension) in some heavier drinkers. (3) A relation of drinking to higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke but to lower risk of ischemic stroke. (4) Certain arrhythmias, especially among binge drinkers. (5) An inverse relation of alcohol use to coronary artery disease. A causal hypothesis of protection is strengthened by plausible mechanisms. The coronary disease data impact upon total mortality statistics, such that lighter drinkers are at slightly lower risk than abstainers of death within a given time period. (6) An inverse relation of drinking to type 2 (adult…

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