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.





Although the association between alcohol and pancreatic diseases has been recognized for a long time, the impact of alcohol consumption on pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer (PC) remains poorly defined. Nowadays there is not consensus about the epidemiology and the beverage type, dose and duration of alcohol consumption causing these diseases. The objective of this study was to review the epidemiology described in the literature for pancreatic diseases as a consequence of alcoholic behavior trying to understand the association between dose, type and frequency of alcohol consumption and risk of pancreatitis and PC. The majority of the studies conclude that high alcohol intake was associated with a higher risk of pancreatitis (around 2.5%-3% between heavy drinkers and 1.3% between non drinkers).…
BACKGROUND: Both diabetes mellitus and alcohol consumption are prevalent in the United States, yet physicians are poorly informed about howalcohol use affects risk for or management of diabetes. PURPOSE: To conduct a systematic review assessing the effect of alcohol use on the incidence, management, and complications of diabetes mellitus in adults. DATA SOURCES: English-language studies in persons 19 years of age or older that were identified by searching the MEDLINE database from 1966 to the third week of August 2003 and the reference lists of key articles. STUDY SELECTION: Two independent assessors reviewed 974 retrieved citations to identify all experimental, cohort, or case-control studies that assessed the effect of alcohol use on diabetes risk, control, self-management, adverse drug events, or…
BACKGROUND: Epidemiological studies have shown a J- or U-shaped relation between alcohol and type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease (CHD). The underlying mechanisms are not clear. The aim was to examine the association between alcohol intake and diabetes and intermediate CHD risk factors in relation to selected ADH and ALDH gene variants. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Cross-sectional study including 6,405 Northern European men and women aged 30-60 years from the general population of Copenhagen, Denmark. Data were collected with self-administered questionnaires, a physical examination, a 2 hour oral glucose tolerance test, and various blood tests. J shaped associations were observed between alcohol and diabetes, metabolic syndrome (MS), systolic and diastolic blood pressure, triglyceride, total cholesterol, and total homocysteine. Positive associations were…
OBJECTIVE: Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular mortality and increases adiponectin concentrations, but effects might differ according to sex and beverage consumed. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A total of 72 healthy individuals (22-56 years) were enrolled in this randomized controlled crossover trial. After washout, two interventions for 3 weeks followed: ethanol (concentration 12.5%), beer (5.6%), or red wine (12.5%) equivalent to 30 g ethanol/day for men and 20 g/day for women or the same de-alcoholized beverages or water. Adiponectin was measured by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. RESULTS: Among women, adiponectin significantly increased after consuming red wine (29.8%, P < 0.05) and increased among men after ethanol solution (17.4%, P < 0.05) and…
OBJECTIVE: While the protective nature of moderate alcohol consumption against diabetes mellitus is well known, inconsistent findings continue to be reported. The possibility of different mixes of effect modifiers has been raised as a reason for those inconsistent findings. Our study aim was to examine potential effect modifiers that can change the effect of alcohol consumption on type 2 diabetes. METHODS: From data in the third Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 3,982 individuals over the age of 30 years who had not been diagnosed with diabetes were selected for inclusion in the study population. Breslow and Day's test and the Wald test between hypercholesterolemia and alcohol consumption in a multiple logistic regression model were used to assess effect…
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