Alcohol Consumption Lowers Diabetes Risk — but Is Abstaining Bad for You?
Everybody loves a good headline about the proven health benefits of dark chocolate or red wine, but scientific studies extolling the virtues of “sinful” substances are rarely so cut and dry. A few drinks a week may lower your chances of getting one disease, but significantly boost the risk of acquiring something just as deadly.
A good example is a study published today on the correlation between alcohol consumption and diabetes. The paper, published in the journal Diabetologia, concluded that men and women who drink alcohol three to four times a week have a significantly lower chance of acquiring diabetes compared to people who drink less than one day a week on average.
Men who drank a few days a week had a 27 percent lower diabetes risk than infrequent drinkers, according to the report, and women had a 32 percent lower chance of getting the disease, which is the sixth leading cause of death worldwide, claiming 1.59 million lives each year.
Janne Tolstrup with the National Institute of Public Health at the University of Southern Denmark was lead author of the alcohol and diabetes study. In an email, she drew a clear line between drawing reasonable scientific conclusions from a single study and making broad generalizations about the health benefits or risks of drinking.
“In this study, we have a narrow focus on diabetes only,” wrote Tolstrup, “but since alcohol is related to more than 50 different diseases and conditions — reflecting that alcohol affects virtually every organ system of the body — any recommendations about how to drink and how much to drink shou Continue reading