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.





Resveratrol is a naturally occurring diphenolic compound exerting numerous beneficial effects in the organism. The present study demonstrated its short-term, direct influence on lipogenesis, lipolysis and the antilipolytic action of insulin in freshly isolated rat adipocytes. In fat cells incubated for 90 min with 125 and 250 microM resveratrol (but not with 62.5 microM resveratrol), basal and insulin-induced lipogenesis from glucose was significantly reduced. The antilipogenic effect was accompanied by a significant diminution of CO(2) release and enhanced production of lactate. The inhibition of glucose conversion to lipids found in the presence of resveratrol was not attenuated by activator of protein kinase C. However, acetate conversion to lipids appeared to be insensitive to resveratrol. In adipocytes incubated for 90 min…
AIMS: To examine the association between moderate drinking, cognitive function, and cognitive decline in women with type 2 diabetes. METHODS: From 1995 to 2001, we assessed cognitive function in 1,698 women aged 71-80 years with type 2 diabetes in the Nurses' Health Study. Assessments were repeated twice at 2-year intervals. We used linear regression to estimate multivariable-adjusted mean differences in initial cognitive function and longitudinal models to estimate cognitive decline over 4 years, according to average alcohol intake between diagnosis with diabetes and the initial cognitive measurement. RESULTS: At the initial assessment, the mean score on our test of general cognition was 0.31 (95% CI 0.02, 0.60) points higher in women who were moderate alcohol drinkers (those consuming 1.0-9.9 g…
The aim of this study was to determine how alcohol consumption influences metabolic syndrome in patients with hypertension. The subjects were 3938 male workers being treated with anti-hypertensive drugs and they were divided into four groups by average ethanol intake [non-, light (/=22 and /=44 g/day) drinkers]. The relationships of alcohol intake with atherosclerotic risk factors and metabolic syndrome were investigated. Waist circumference and hemoglobin A1c were significantly smaller and lower, respectively, in light, moderate, and heavy drinkers than in nondrinkers. Systolic blood pressure and log-converted triglyceride were significantly higher in heavy drinkers than in nondrinkers. HDL cholesterol was significantly higher in all of the drinker groups than in nondrinkers and tended to be higher as alcohol intake increased. Prevalence…
AIM: The aim of this study was to clarify the relationship between alcohol intake and metabolic syndrome in Japanese men and women. METHODS: Japanese female subjects (n=11,187) were divided into non-, light ( or = 22 ethanol/day) drinkers, and Japanese male subjects (n=19,398) were divided into non-, light ( or = 22 and or = 44 g ethanol/day) drinkers. The mean level of each variable and the prevalence of each risk factor and metabolic syndrome were compared among the groups. RESULTS: In men and women, blood pressure and HDL cholesterol tended to be higher, and hemoglobin A1c tended to be lower with increased alcohol intake. Waist circumference showed U- and V-shaped relationships, and log-converted triglyceride showed J- and V-shaped relationships…
BACKGROUND: Relationships between alcohol consumption and risks for metabolic syndrome in general populations are very controversial. It is unknown whether age influences the relationship between alcohol intake and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine whether age influences the relationship between alcohol consumption and metabolic syndrome. METHODS: Men aged >/=35 and /=65 years (older group), matched for alcohol intake and smoking history, were divided into four subgroups by alcohol intake [non-, light (/=22 and /=44 g ethanol/day) drinkers]. Odds ratios (ORs) versus nondrinkers for each risk factor and metabolic syndrome were compared between the younger and older groups. RESULTS: Both in the younger and older groups, ORs for high blood pressure and low…
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