Moderate Red Wine Consumption May Help Type 2 Diabetics Manage Cholesterol & Cardiac Health; Red & White Wine Both Improve Sugar Control in Diabetics with Genetic Profiles Indicating They Are “Slow Alcohol Metabolizers”

A glass of red wine every night may help people with type 2 diabetes better manage their cholesterol and cardiac health, according to new findings from a two-year randomized controlled trial (RCT) led by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel. Additionally, both red and white wine can improve sugar control, depending on genetic profiling indicating an individual’s rate of alcohol metabolism. In this first long-term alcohol study in diabetics, just published online opn October 13, 2015 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the researchers aimed to assess the effects and safety of initiating moderate alcohol consumption in diabetics, and also sought to determine whether the type of wine matters. The article is titled “Effects of Initiating Moderate Alcohol Intake on Cardiometabolic Risk in Adults With Type 2 Diabetes: A 2-Year Randomized, Controlled Trial." People with diabetes are more susceptible to developing cardiovascular diseases than the general population and have lower levels of "good" cholesterol. Despite the enormous contribution of observational studies, clinical recommendations for moderate alcohol consumption remain controversial, particularly for people with diabetes, due to lack of long-term, randomized controlled trials, which are the "holy grail" of evidence-based medicine. "Red wine was found to be superior in improving overall metabolic profiles, mainly by modestly improving the lipid profile, by increasing good (HDL) cholesterol and apolipoprotein A1 (one of the major constituents of HDL cholesterol), while decreasing the ratio between total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol," the researchers explain.
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