…..for diabetics is ok! Apparently. Yes, research published this month in the Annuals of Internal Medicine found that getting people suffering from type 2 diabetes to drink a moderate amount of alcohol in the form of red or white wine actually decreased their risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Sound controversial? That’s because it is. The researchers say there are studies out there that have looked at alcohol consumption and type 2 diabetes. Of those that said the alcohol was beneficial some hypothesized it was the ethanol itself that had the effect, others said it was the other components in red wine. With this in mind the researchers decided to recruit teetotallers for the study and supplied them with a glass of red wine, white wine or mineral water with their dinner. The study lasted for 2 years.
The researchers found that red wine significantly increased the amount of HDL cholesterol (the good one) compared to the water control. The groups drinking red or white wine also reported better sleep compared to the water drinkers.
Looking at ethanol’s effect on blood sugar control, the researchers found that people could be split into two groups: fast ethanol metabolisers and slow ethanol metabolisers, depending on what alleles of the alcohol dehydrogenase the person carried.
Drinking a glass of red or white wine significantly improved the blood sugar control of those that metabolise ethanol slowly but the same effect was not observed in those that are fast metabolisers.
The researchers point out that obviously the trial could not be blind and also there was no grape juice control but an interesting contribution none the less.