Friday, July 24, 2009

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Alcohol and Diabetes Risk

It's OK to have an occasional drink. But what does occasional mean? The American Diabetes Association suggests that you have no more than two drinks a day if you are a man and no more than one drink a day if you are a woman. This recommendation is the same for people without diabetes. Find out what effects alcohol can have on your diabetes according to known report from various sources.

Nearly 23,000 Finnish twins provided information on ther alcohol use, diet, smoking. physical activity, medical and social condtions. They did so in 1975, 1981 and 1990. Over 20 years of follow-up, 580 cases of type 2 diabetes were identified. In an anaylysis of pairs of twins with different drinking patterns, those who consumed alcohol in moderation had half the risk of diabetes compared to those who consumed less alcohol. The researchers report that their findings are consistent with numerous previous studies that have shown moderate alcohol drinkers to have a 30-40 percent reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

Carlsson, S., et al. Alcohol consumption and the incidence of type 2 diabetes: a 20-year follow-up of the Finnish Twin Cohort Study. Diabetes Care, 2003, 26(10), 2785-2786.

Medical researchers examined the results of 15 different studies and found that moderate drinkers are less likely to have type 2 diabetes than are abstainers. Teetotalers and heavy drinkers have equally high risk of the disease.The 15 studies were conducted in the U.S., Japan, Finland, Korea, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK and followed a total of 369,862 men and women for an average of 12 years.Moderate drinkers (those who drank between about a half a drink to four drinks per day) were found to be 30% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than abstainers or heavy drinkers.Whether drinkers consume beer, wine or distilled spirits makes little difference, but the pattern of consumption does. It’s much better to consume frequently (such as daily) rather than infrequently for maximum health benefits.

The research findings are published in the journal, Diabetes Care.

Pre-menstrual women who consume a daily drink of beer, wine or distilled spirits (whiskey, rum, tequila, etc.) have a much lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than abstainers, according to a study that duplicates similar findings in men.
The Harvard study involved about 110,000 women age 25 to 42 over a ten-year period. Dramatic reductions (about 60%) occured among women who drank between 1/2 and two drinks daily compared to abstainers. The reduction of risk was lower for those who drank less.

The study, led by Dr. Goya Wannamethee, is published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

A study of over 5,000 women with type 2 diabetes mellitus by Harvard researchers found that coronary heart disease (CHD) rates "were significantly lower in women who reported moderate alcohol intake than in those who reported drinking no alcohol."
Women who drank more than 5 grams (about half a glass) a day reduced their risk of CHD (fatal or nonfatal) by more than half.

Solomon, C. G., et al. Moderate alcohol consumption and risk of coronary heart disease among women with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Circulation, 2000, 102, 494-499.

A major study of almost 21,000 physicians for over 12 years has found that men who are light to moderate drinkers have a decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
These findings are consistent with several other large studies, including the Nurses' Health Study of 85,000 women and the Health Professionals' Follow-Up Study of over 41,000 men.
Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus affects over 15 million people and is the seventh leading cause of death among those over 45 hears of age in the US. This serious disease is also associated with higher rates of cardiovascular disease, renal failure, and blindness caused by retinopathy.

Umed, A., et al. Alcohol consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus among US male physicians. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2000, 160, 1025-1050

Some drinks are better choices for people with diabetes. Select drinks that are lower in alcohol and sugar. If you use mixers in your drinks, choose ones that are sugar free, such as diet soft drinks, diet tonic, club soda, seltzer, or water. This will help keep your blood sugar levels in your target range.

Light beer and dry wines are good choices. They have less alcohol and carbohydrates and fewer calories.

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