Moderate Drinking May Improve Fasting Glucose in People with Diabetes
Data on the association between moderate drinking and glycemic control are conflicting. To clarify this association, researchers in Israel conducted a randomized trial of 109 subjects with type 2 diabetes who had not consumed >1 drink in the past week. Subjects, aged 41 to 74 years, were given either about 1 glass of wine or nonalcoholic beer (control) daily with dinner. Each subject received dietary counseling, was instructed to consume a specific amount of calories, completed food diaries and questionnaires, and underwent blood testing.
Results for the 91 patients who completed the 3-month trial include the following:
- Fasting blood glucose decreased in the alcohol group (from 140 to 118 mg/dl) but not in the control group.
- In the alcohol group, decreases were greatest among patients with higher levels of hemoglobin A1c at baseline.
- Postprandial glucose levels did not significantly differ between the groups.
- No notable adverse effects were reported.
In this study, patients with diabetes who had abstained for a week but started consuming about a glass of wine per day had a rather marked improvement in their fasting blood glucose levels. Those with more severe disease (i.e., higher baseline levels of hemoglobin A1c) showed the largest effect from alcohol, a finding supported from many observational studies. Since subjects were followed for only 3 months, long-term effects cannot be estimated from this study.R. Curtis Ellison, MD
Shai I, Wainstein J, Harman-Boehm I, et al. Glycemic effects of moderate alcohol intake among patients with type 2 diabetes: a multi-center, randomized clinical intervention trial. Diabetes Care. 2007;30(12):3011–3016.