Moderate consumption of alcohol can help improve cardiovascular health. In particular, some believe that red wine is more superior than other alcoholic drinks. Is this true?
How Does Alcohol Help Diabetes?
There are evidences to show that diabetes is less prevalent among moderate alcohol drinkers. Yet due to the lack of long term randomized studies, these evidences cannot be confirmed just yet.
People with diabetes are at high risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases. They are also at risk of low levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL), the good cholesterol. High levels of HDL can help to minimize the risk of heart diseases and stroke. It works by absorbing bad cholesterol and carrying it back to the liver which will then flush them out of the body.
Therefore, alcohol can benefit diabetes patients because it reduces risk of heart disease.
Is Red Wine For Diabetes Better Than Other Alcoholic Drink?
A study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine investigated the cardiometabolic effects of alcohol, particularly both red and white wine, in type 2 diabetes patients.
In the study, 224 type 2 diabetes participants were randomly split into 3 groups. Each group consumed 150ml of either mineral water, white wine or red wine with their dinner. The participants are men and women between 40-75 years of age with well-controlled diabetes. They also do not drink alcohol prior to the study. Researchers followed the participants for 2 years, with questionnaires and group sessions and taking blood samples.
At the end of the study, participants who took wine displayed lower cardiometabolic risks in comparison to participants who took mineral water. In particular, those who consumed red wine showed more noticeable changes in lipid variables.
The study observed that while alcohol is shown to help glycemic control, red wine displayed a more significant effect on lipid levels and overall metabolic syndrome. This could mean that other active compounds in red wine contribute to its effects.
Red wine has seven folds higher levels of phenols as compared to white. However, the cardioprotective effect of phenolic compounds is still unclear. Researches warrant more studies to compare the varied effects of red and white wine with focus on the efficacy of their active compounds.
Should Diabetes Patients Take Up Moderate Alcohol Consumption?
Now the question is, should patients with Type 2 diabetes take alcohol? According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), this will mainly depend on the individual. They further recommend that the patient should discuss this matter with their physician. Their dedicated physician will evaluate if the patient can consume moderate amounts of alcohol. This is especially true for those who have Type 2 diabetes.