Drinking alcohol can lower chance of diabetes: study

A wine selector tastes red wine from the latest vintage at Bonini winery's wine-cellar in the village of Brestovitsa, about 150km (93miles) east of the capital Sofia, in this December 8, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Oleg Popov/Files

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Healthy adults who drink one to two glasses of alcohol per day have a smaller chance of developing one form of diabetes than those who abstain from alcohol, according to Dutch research published on Tuesday.

The 10-year study of 35,000 adults, carried out by the National Institute for Public Health and Environment and Dutch medical and scientific centers, focused on Type 2 diabetes, which occurs mainly in people over 40 years old.

Results showed that people who consumed alcohol moderately and met at least three of four conditions of a healthy lifestyle, had 40 percent less chance of developing Type 2 diabetes than those who abstained from alcohol completely.

Following adults between the ages of 20 and 70, the study defined moderate alcohol consumption as a maximum of one glass per day for women and two glasses per day for men.

The four conditions of a healthy lifestyle were defined as obesity prevention, adequate exercise, not smoking and a balanced diet.

“The results of the investigation show that moderate alcohol consumption can play a part in a health lifestyle to help reduce the risk of developing diabetes type 2,” scientific research group TNO, which helped carry out the analysis, said in a statement.

Type 2 diabetes, which is often caused by obesity, is the most common form of the disease that occurs when blood sugar levels are abnormally high, and affects more than 180 million adults worldwide.

This form of diabetes, which currently requires daily treatment, can lead to cardiovascular diseases, stroke, blindness, amputations and kidney failure if not controlled.

Reporting by Catherine Hornby