Wine Information Council

Wine Information Council

A Spanish systematic review and meta-analysis identified a possible protective effect of moderate wine consumption[1]  on the development of cognitive decline. The authors caution, however, that the results do not suggest that the population should increase their wine consumption since this could be harmful. However, considering their results, low wine consumption could be promoted among other lifestyle factors, including the Med Diet, as an effective habit to prevent or delay cognitive deterioration in the healthy population. They also suggest that their findings support the international guidelines of low-to-moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages as the most acceptable level of consumption, both in the short and long-term and for people who do not suffer liver disease, are pregnant or take several medications.


[1] moderate wine consumption: 30 g of alcohol/d for men and 20 g of alcohol/d for women


Source: Lucerón-Lucas-Torres M, Cavero-Redondo I, Martínez-Vizcaíno V, Saz-Lara A, Pascual-Morena C, Álvarez-Bueno C. Association Between Wine Consumption and Cognitive Decline in Older People: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Longitudinal Studies. Front Nutr. 2022 May 12;9:863059. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2022.863059. PMID: 35634389; PMCID: PMC9133879.

For more information about this article, click here.



Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is rising at an alarming rate worldwide and is becoming a public health priority. In 2021, it affected 537 million individuals and is responsible for 6.7 million deaths. Persons with diabetes are more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases and cancer.  T2D is the result of a combination of genetic predisposition, obesity and lifestyle factors such as smoking, sedentary lifestyle and poor diet, among others.

Some lifestyle changes can prevent T2D, the beneficial effects of a Mediterranean diet (Med Diet) on human health have been demonstrated more particularly. The Med Diet has been recognized as a dietary pattern with great palatability and can be easily adapted also in non-Mediterranean countries. It is characterized by high consumption of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, legumes, nuts and fish, moderate intake of low-fat dairy and alcoholic beverages, preferably wine, and a low intake of red meat. This eating pattern has demonstrated favorable impacts against cardiovascular diseases, cancer, cognitive dysfunction and mortality. 

The current systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies examined the relation between adherence to the Med Diet and risk of type 2 diabetes in the general population. Data from 14 prospective studies was included to provide an updated overview.

The results showed that the risk of T2D decreased by 14% for each 2-points increase in the Med Diet adherence score, so a greater adherence to the Med Diet was significantly related to a lower T2D risk. The Med diet score includes – among fruits, vegetables, olive oil, legumes, etc. - also moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages, mostly wine.

Even after controlling for confounding factors like body mass index, physical activity, energy intake and smoking status, this relationship remained the same. The authors also assessed the risk of bias and certainty of evidence via the GRADE method and it was rated as moderate.

They concluded that their findings suggested a greater adherence to Med Diet was associated with a lower risk of T2D in a dose-response manner. The Med Diet is thus a healthy dietary pattern and could be useful in preventing T2D.


Source: Zeraattalab-Motlagh S, Jayedi A, Shab-Bidar S. Mediterranean dietary pattern and the risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Eur J Nutr. 2022 Jun;61(4):1735-1748. doi: 10.1007/s00394-021-02761-3. Epub 2022 Jan 10. PMID: 35001218.

For more information about this article, click here.


The results of a Spanish prospective cohort study with 1184 participants with prediabetes[1]  suggested a similar protective effect. A high adherence to Med diet can prevent the progression of diabetes in individuals with prediabetes compared with a low/medium adherence.


 [1] prediabetes refers to situations where the levels of blood sugar are higher than normal but lower than levels required for the diagnosis of diabetes.


Source: Cea-Soriano L, Pulido J, Franch-Nadal J, Santos JM, Mata-Cases M, Díez-Espino J, Ruiz-García A, Regidor E; PREDAPS Study Group. Mediterranean diet and diabetes risk in a cohort study of individuals with prediabetes: propensity score analyses. Diabet Med. 2022 Jun;39(6):e14768. doi: 10.1111/dme.14768. Epub 2021 Dec 18. PMID: 34897805.

For more information about this article, click here.




The current meta-analysis showed that adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with a lower risk of overweight/obesity and less weight gain.

The Mediterranean diet (Med Diet) – mainly a plant-based diet including moderate wine consumption – is regarded as one of the healthiest diets. A long-term adherence has been related to a lower risk of degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, metabolic syndrome, etc. Overweight and obese individuals are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, CVD, and many cancers and have an increased risk of dying.

Considering the high prevalence of obesity and its relation to chronic diseases, it is necessary to maintain a healthy weight.

Findings from earlier studies examining the relationship between the adherence to the Med Diet and overweight/obesity are inconsistent and the current research systematically reviewed all the published prospective studies which investigated this association.

The findings of this meta-analysis revealed that a higher adherence to the Med diet was linked to a lower risk of overweight and/or obesity as well as with less weight gain in adults during the 5 years of follow-up.  As possible explanation, the authors referred to the high fiber content of fruits and vegetables which could provoke satiety and a sensation of fullness.


Source: Lotfi K, Saneei P, Hajhashemy Z, Esmaillzadeh A. Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet, Five-Year Weight Change, and Risk of Overweight and Obesity: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies. Adv Nutr. 2022 Feb 1;13(1):152-166. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmab092. PMID: 34352891; PMCID: PMC8803490.

For more information about this article, click here.

The current study examined whether different alcoholic beverages (beer/cider, red and white wine/champagne, spirits) are differentially related to body composition.

Decades of epidemiological research have shown conflicting findings when it comes to intake of alcoholic beverages and adiposity. The intake of alcoholic beverages has been associated with both higher and lower body weight. Very few studies have assessed how specific types of alcoholic beverages may differentially influence body composition.

To assess how alcohol may influence body composition, the patterns of drinking for different alcoholic beverages need to be considered rather than simply assessing alcohol consumption as a whole.

In this study, American researchers not only used data such as drinking patterns, eating habits, demographic and anthropometric characteristics from the UK Biobank database but also analysed serum biomarkers and parameters of the body composition that were collected from the study participants. 1869 individuals, age 40-80 years, were included in the study. They were grouped according to their drinking preferences: 39% indicated no preference, 11% preferred beer or cider, 25% mostly consumed red wine, 16% mostly white wine or champagne and 7% other wines. Only 2% consumed most of the alcoholic beverages as spirits.

The results showed that a preference for beer or cider was directly associated with a greater visceral adipose mass, which could be explained with the respective biomarkers for lipid metabolisms and for insulin resistance. In contrast, greater red wine consumption was inversely related with visceral body fat1, which means that red wine drinkers had less of the unhealthy abdominal fat. The authors explained this observation with lower levels of biomarkers that are responsible for inflammation, a higher level of “good” HDL cholesterol and a better kidney clearance. White wine consumption showed no association with adiposity and interestingly, a better bone mineral density. As possible explanation referred the researchers to a higher concentration of a particular polyphenol in white wine compared to red wine.

Spirit consumption was related to a higher visceral body fat.

The authors concluded that a preference for beer and spirits could be linked to greater adiposity-associated weight gain in older white adults. In contrast, red wine consumption could be inversely related to visceral weight gain and white wine consumption may help to reduce age-associated bone mineral loss. They caution that these results can only be applied to older British individuals but if the described effects can be confirmed in further studies, moderate wine consumption could be considered beneficial in the prevention of overweight and its consequences, osteoporosis and fractures.


1Visceral fat is stored in a person’s abdominal cavity and is also known as ‘active fat’ as it influences how hormones function in the body. Because visceral fat is in the abdominal cavity, it is close to many vital organs, such as the pancreas, liver, and intestines.

The higher the amount of visceral fat an individual stores, the higher the risk for certain health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, etc.


Source: Larsen, BA et al.: Beer, wine, and spirits differentially influence body composition in older white adults – a United Kingdom Biobank Study. Obesity Science and Practice 2022;1-16

For more information about this article, click here.

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