Diabetes Mellitus

The effect of alcohol on the control of diabetes

Patients with higher A1C may benefit, according to researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.

First, the details.

  • 109 patients with type 2 diabetes who abstained from alcohol were randomly assigned to receive 150 mL wine (5 oz, 13 grams of alcohol) or nonalcoholic diet beer (control) each day over 3 months.
  • The beverages were consumed during dinner.
  • Diet and alcohol consumption were monitored.

And, the results.

  • 91 patients completed the study.
  • In the alcohol group, fasting blood sugar decreased significantly compared to the control group.
    • 140 to 118 mg/dL after 3 months
  • Alcohol consumption had no effect on the 2-hour postprandial (after meal) blood sugar levels.
  • Patients in the alcohol group with higher baseline A1C levels had significantly greater reductions in fasting blood sugar.
  • Participants in the alcohol group reported improved ability to fall asleep.

The bottom line?
The authors conclude, “Studies are needed to confirm the long-term effect of moderate alcohol intake” on A1C levels and long-term control of blood sugar levels.

1/16/08 22:53 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.