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.





BACKGROUND: Adherence to the Mediterranean diet is associated with lower mortality in a general population but limited evidence exists on the effect of a Mediterranean diet on mortality in subjects with diabetes. We aim to examine the association between the Mediterranean diet and mortality in diabetic individuals. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study on 1995 type 2 diabetic subjects recruited within the MOLI-SANI study. Methods: Food intake was recorded by the European Project Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition food frequency questionnaire. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was appraised by the Greek Mediterranean diet score. Hazard ratios were calculated using multivariable Cox-proportional hazard models. RESULTS: During follow-up (median 4.0 years), 109 all-cause including 51 cardiovascular deaths occurred. A 2-unit increase in Mediterranean diet…
This observational study examined the association between modifiable lifestyle and social factors on the incidence and progression of early chronic kidney disease (CKD) among those with type 2 diabetes. All 6972 people from the Ongoing Telmisartan Alone and in Combination with Ramipril Global Endpoint Trial (ONTARGET) with diabetes but without macroalbuminuria were studied. CKD progression was defined as decline in GFR of more than 5% per year, progression to end-stage renal disease, microalbuminuria, or macroalbuminuria at 5.5 years. Lifestyle/social factors included tobacco and alcohol use, physical activity, stress, financial worries, the size of the social network and education. Adjustments were made for known risks such as age, diabetes duration, GFR, albuminuria, gender, body mass index, blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose,…
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…
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2DM), but whether this association is also valid for impaired fasting glucose (IFG) is less well known. We aimed at assessing the impact of alcohol consumption and of type of alcoholic beverage on the incidence of T2DM and T2DM + IFG. METHODS AND RESULTS: As many as 4765 participants (2613 women, mean age 51.7 +/- 10.5 years) without T2DM at baseline and followed for an average of 5.5 years. The association between alcohol consumption, type of alcoholic beverage and outcomes was assessed after adjustment for a validated T2DM risk score. During follow-up 284 participants developed T2DM and 643 developed IFG. On bivariate analysis,…
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…
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