Diabetes Risk Reduced with Moderate Alcohol Consumption

Diabetes affects 26 million adult Americans, and rates continue to rise. Now, a new study shows that a couple of drinks a day could minimize the risk of the disease.

Two drinks a day can keep the risk of diabetes away, according to a new study from the National Institute for Public Health and Environment and Dutch medical and scientific centers.

The study, which lasted 10 years, tracked the incidence of Type 2 diabetes in 35,000 adults ages 20 to 70. The disease affects mainly people over the age of 40 and is often linked to obesity. Researchers found that study subjects who consumed moderate amounts of alcohol – a maximum of one glass per day for women and two glasses for men – and maintained a healthy lifestyle had a 40 percent less chance of developing the disease than people who didn’t drink at all.

A healthy lifestyle was defined in the study as getting adequate exercise, eating a balanced diet, not smoking, and preventing obesity.

Research group TNO, which also participated in the study, said in a statement, “The results of the investigation show that moderate alcohol consumption can play a part in a healthy lifestyle to help reduce the risk of developing diabetes type 2.”

Type 2 diabetes affects more than 180 million adults worldwide and occurs when a person has abnormally high blood sugar levels. The disease requires daily treatment, including oral medications or insulin injections. If left unmanaged, diabetes can result in heart disease, stroke, amputations, blindness and kidney failure. Previous studies have shown that in addition to losing weight, 30 minutes of daily exercise can help prevent the disease.