Study Suggests Wine Lowers Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Friday, May 28th, 2010 at 12:00 am

Recent studies suggest that moderate consumption of wine may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. It might be the chemicals found in grapes that might be the reason. The results provide researchers with a more specific evidence of the role of wine consumption in affecting type 2 diabetes risk.

There were previous studies that have suggested that the reason for the lower rate of type 2 diabetes among moderate alcohol drinkers is due to the fact that such people follow a healthier lifestyle. A team of researchers from the Wageningen University in the Netherlands looked into this issue by analyzing data from the Dutch European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-NL), a larger health study composed of over 520,000 people from over 10 countries in Europe.

The Wageningen University researchers chose data from 35,625 participants considered on the lower risk scale of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. After analyzing 10 years worth of data, which included 796 cases that developed type 2 diabetes, the lower risk of disease among moderate alcohol drinkers cannot merely be attributed to a healthier lifestyle. The researchers believe that the alcohol may have, in some way contributed to the lower incidence of the said disease among moderate drinkers.

Although the Dutch study may not have determined the role of alcohol in type 2 diabetes risk, another study may suggest that it may not simply be the alcohol alone. University of Michigan researchers found out that eating grapes may slow down the development of high blood pressure as well as insulin resistance in people. Both factors are considered the leading precursors of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. When occurring together, both create a condition known as metabolic syndrome.

In the said study, the University of Michigan researchers fed rats with powder made from table grapes. The researchers found out that those rats fed with the said powder showed more favorable levels of blood sugar and showed an improved tolerance to glucose. The researchers believe that the effect is due to the phytochemicals found on the grapes. These chemicals occur naturally in grapes as well as wine which includes tannins, anthocyanins and resveratrol. The said rats also had less arterial inflammation and oxidative damage.