BY CHRISTA SGOBBA
Go ahead: Crack open a cold one. Moderate alcohol consumption may ward off diabetes, new research published in the journal Diabetologia suggests.
In the study, researchers surveyed over 70,000 people on their drinking habits, and then followed them up for about five years. They discovered that men who drank alcohol three or four days a week were 27 percent less likely to develop diabetes over the course of the study than those who didn’t drink at all.
As for the number of drinks? When looking at alcohol overall, the lowest risk of diabetes occurred in men who drank 14 drinks a week—their diabetes risk was 43 percent lower than goes who abstained from alcohol.
The type seemed to play a role, too. There was no significant link between liquor consumption and diabetes risk in guys, but both beer and wine seemed to be protective. Men who drank one to six beers a week were 21 percent less likely to develop diabetes than those who drank less, and those who imbibed on seven or more servings of wine a week reduced their chances of diabetes by about 30 percent, compared to those who less than one glass of wine a week.
One possible reason: The polyphenols in red wine may help with blood sugar control, possibly lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes. Plus, when consumed in a moderate amount, alcohol, in general, may trigger an anti-inflammatory effect, which may improve your metabolic processes, a previous study hypothesized.
Related: 3 Benefits Of Drinking Stout
Still, don’t take these results as an excuse to go crazy at the pub: Binge drinking was not linked to any beneficial effects, and the greatest reduction in diabetes risk was evident in guys who drank 14 drinks a week—and the national consumption guidelines recommend guys drink in moderation, or up to two drinks a day.