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.





OBJECTIVE: Light-to-moderate alcohol drinking has been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, for which obesity is a primary risk factor. The aim of this study was to determine whether drinking alcohol influences the relationship between obesity and hyperglycemia. METHOD: The relationships of adiposity indices with hyperglycemia were compared among middle-aged Japanese men (N = 12,627) who were non-, light-to-moderate (/=22 and /=44 g ethanol/day) drinkers. RESULTS: There were significant positive correlations of hemoglobin A1c with body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), which were significantly weaker in light-to-moderate and heavy drinkers than in nondrinkers but were not significantly different in very heavy drinkers compared with nondrinkers. Odds ratios (ORs) for hyperglycemia in subjects with versus those…
AIM: The purpose of this prospective study was to investigate the effect of alcohol consumption on the 10-year diabetes incidence. METHODS: In 2001-2002, a random sample of 1514 men (18-89 years old) and 1528 women (18-87 years old) was selected to participate in the ATTICA study (Athens metropolitan area, Greece). Among various other characteristics, average daily alcohol intakes (abstention, low, moderate, high) and type of alcoholic drink were evaluated. Diabetes was defined according to American Diabetes Association criteria. During 2011-2012, the 10-year follow-up was performed. RESULTS: The 10-year incidence of diabetes was 13.4% in men and 12.4% in women. After making various adjustments, those who consumed up to 1 glass/day of alcohol had a 53% lower diabetes risk (RR=0.47; 95%…
Alcohol has previously been shown to have a U-shaped association with type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk, but less is known regarding the specific association with wine. To evaluate for the first time the associations between T2D risk and both baseline wine consumption and trajectories of wine consumption frequency throughout life, estimated using an innovative group-based trajectory modeling strategy. A total of 66,485 women from the French prospective E3N-EPIC cohort were followed between 1993 and 2007; 1,372 incident cases of T2D were diagnosed during the follow-up. Multivariable Cox regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95 % confidence intervals (95 % CI) for T2D risk. The average consumption of wine, among alcohol consumers, was 0.81 drinks/day (1 drink…
INTRODUCTION: The development of metabolic syndrome (MetS) is influenced by environmental factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption. We determined the combined effects of smoking and alcohol on MetS and its individual components. METHODS: 64,046 participants aged 18-80 years from the LifeLines Cohort study were categorized into three body mass index (BMI) classes (BMI<25, normal weight; BMI 25-30, overweight; BMI>/=30 kg/m2, obese). MetS was defined according to the revised criteria of the National Cholesterol Education Program's Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III). Within each BMI class and smoking subgroup (non-smoker, former smoker, /=20 g tobacco/day), the cross-sectional association between alcohol and individual MetS components was tested using regression analysis. RESULTS: Prevalence of MetS varied greatly between the different smoking-alcohol…
AIMS: Examine associations between self-reported alcohol consumption patterns and metabolic syndrome. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sample (N=7432) included adult (>/=20 years) participants in the 1999-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. RESULTS: Above moderate alcohol consumption (AMAC) was negatively associated with waist circumference among those in the 20-29, 40-49, and 70-79 age groups (beta=-6.21, beta=-8.34, and beta=-6.60, respectively) and moderate alcohol consumption (MAC) was negatively associated with waist circumference among those in the 30-39, 40-49, and 70-79 age groups (beta=-4.60, beta=-5.69, and beta=-2.88, respectively). AMAC was negatively associated with triglycerides among those in the 70-79 and 80+ age groups (beta=-23.62 and beta=-34.18, respectively) and positively associated with HDL-C levels in all groups (beta range 8.96-18.25). MAC was positively associated with HDL-C…
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