January 21, 2019
Close-up of Couple Toasting with red wine glass in restaurant
Wellness Tip

Drinking and Diabetes Risk

by Berkeley Wellness  

Light to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes,according to an analysis of 26 studies involving 700,000 people, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The reduction in risk appeared greater in women than in men. Heavier alcohol consumption—three or more drinks a day for men, 1½ or more for women—was not beneficial.

It’s not clear how moderate alcohol intake may be protective against diabetes, though it is theorized that it improves insulin sensitivity and reduces spikes in blood sugar after meals. Heavy drinking, in contrast, increases the risk of cirrhosis of the liver, which in turn increases the risk of diabetes.

A standard drink is 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1½ ounces of 80-proof liquor.

Also see Alcohol: Your Questions Answered.