Wine: Type 2 Diabetes and HDL Cholesterol – A Significant Study

I wearied of hearing that eggs were bad for me before the recent findings that eggs are just fine, in moderation. I wearied of the studies on coffee, although the consensus confirms that coffee is quite good for us for a number of reasons, in moderation. The same has happened with wine, in moderation. A new study is out –– a significant study in many ways and addresses, specifically, Type 2 Diabetes. This study is more than the news we all know, that the resveratrol, an antioxidant, in the skin of red, black and purple grapes, is the magic that allows us to feel good and responsible about a glass of wine each evening. Along with the information below, the article several times, reports that wine, combined with the Mediterranean diet, can be a good thing.


After discussing ramifications of breast cancer, alcoholism, and heart health in general, there is this:

Beyond blood sugar, there’s been limited evidence that moderate drinking might improve heart health. If true, that’s important since people with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease.

That’s why a new study is a standout. It found that having a daily glass of red wine modestly improved some measures of heart health.

Researchers were precise when they designed the study, including only men and women between the ages of 40 and 75 with stable, type 2 diabetes — they couldn’t need more than two insulin injections a day or be on an insulin pump. People were also excluded if they smoked or had a history of heart attack, stroke, or a recent major surgery.

They also did something that’s unusual for alcohol studies: They randomly assigned 224 people to drink a glass of red or white wine or water with dinner every day for 2 years. That’s the longest any group has been followed for this kind of test.

They were also a little sneaky. When they were recruiting for the study, they didn’t tell people they were going to test the health effects of alcohol. Instead, they told them they would be eating a healthy,Mediterranean diet. They wanted to find people who abstained from alcohol as a general rule. Source: WebMd

The way the study was set-up mimics the way pharmaceuticals test drugs –– considered the “gold standard of medical evidence, a randomized, controlled trial.”

Some of those who consumed red wine in the controlled study saw their good cholesterol (HDL) levels go up slightly. Still, the article claims it was “statistically significant.” The rise in good cholesterol didn’t happen by chance. White wine did not help cholesterol levels because the white, gold or green skins of the grapes do not have the same phenols as dark grape peels.

The article offers some fairly complex information on both red and white wine lowering insulin levels in the morning hours. If you are diabetic, you should read it here, and note that if your diabetes is under control, “drinking a little red wine,” a glass a day, “seems to be safe” and may “decrease risks to your heart’s health.”

Some people saw blood pressure lowered, and slept better than water drinkers. Well, wow!

The study above was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The researcher is Iris Shai of Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. More here.

The suggestion is that women of all ages drink no more than one alcoholic drink a day, and if wine (7 percent to 14 percent alcohol), that means a five ounce serving. The same for men over 65, but younger men can have up to two glasses of wine. For men or women, one serving of beer is 12 ounces, or a cocktail with a 1.5 ounce shot of your chosen spirit. Think of wine as a food product, because it is.

Linked in Theo Spark’s Daily Spark – find news to know here.

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