Drinking Alcohol and Type 2 Diabetes (Adult Onset or Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes)

Type 2 diabetes is a very serious disease can lead to problems such as blindness, impotence, loss of limbs, and death. It effects tens of millions of people.

Fortunately, the moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, liquor or distilled spirits) reduces the risk of developing diabetes. For example:

In a cross-sectional community survey (The New Mexico Elder Health Survey), researchers found that alcohol abstainers, because of their relative hyperinsulinemia appear to be more insulin resistant than daily moderate drinkers. They conclude that this difference in insulin sensitivity may explain the lower prevalence of diabetes in drinkers compared with abstainers observed in various epidemiological studies. 13

Much scientific medical research has established that the moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages (beer, wine, and liquor or distilled spirits) reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

The health benefits associated with drinking in moderation are also similar for beer, wine and spirits. The primary factor associated with health and longevity appears to be the alcohol itself.

Note: This website does not provide medical advice or opinion and none should be inferred.


  • 1. Koppes, L., et al. Moderate alcohol consumption lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis of prospective observational studies. Diabetes Care, 2005, 28, 719-725.
  • 2. Carlsson, S., et al. Alcohol consumption and the incidence of type 2 diabetes: a 20-year follow-up of the Finnish Twin Cohort Study. Diabetes Care, 2003, 26(10), 2785-2786.
  • 3. Umed, A., et al. Alcohol consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus among US male physicians. Archives of Internal Medicine, 2000, 160, 1025-1050.
  • 4. Wei, M. et al. Alcohol intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes in men. Diabetes Care, 2000, 23(1), 18-26.
  • 5. Tanner, L. Light to moderate drinking cuts diabetes risk in women, too. Associated Press, 6-10-03; National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse.
  • 6. Beulens, J., Stolky, R. P., van der Schouw, Y. T. , Grobbee, D. E., Hendriks, H., and Bots, M. L. Alcohol consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes among older women. Diabetes Care, 2005 (December), 28, 2933-2938.
  • 7. Avogaro, A., et al. Acute alcohol consumption improves insulin action without affecting insulin secretion in type 2 diabetic subjects. Diabetes Care, 2004 (June 6), 27(6), 1369-1374.
  • 8. Freiberg, M, et al. Alcohol consumption and the prevalence of the
    Metabolic Syndrome in the US: A cross-sectional analysis of data from The
    National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Diabetes Care, 2004, 27(11), 2954-22959.
  • 9. Davies, M.J., et al. Effects of moderate alcohol intake on fasting insulin and glucose concentrations and insulin sensitivity in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial. The Journal of the American Medical Association. 2002, 287(19), 2559-2562.
  • 10. Rimm, E. B., et al. Prospective study of cigarette smoking, alcohol use, and the risk of diabetes in men. British Medical Journal, 1995, 310, 555-559.
  • 11. Bassuk, S. S. and Manson, J. E. Lifestyle and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Type 2 Diabetes in Women: A Review of the Epidemiologic Evidence, American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 2008, 2(3), 191-213 (2008).
  • 12. Sierkskma, A., et al. Effect of Moderate Alcohol Consumption on Adiponectin, Tumor Necrosis Factor-α, and Insulin Sensitivity, Diabetes Care, 2004, 27(1), 184-189.
  • 13. Kenkre, P. V., et al. Serum Insulin Concentrations in Daily Drinkers Compared With Abstainers in the New Mexico Elder Health Survey, The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, 2003, 58, M960-M963.
  • 14. The American Dietetic Association points out that the facts of alcohol beverage equivalence "are emphasized by the federal government and numerous public health organizations including Nation Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Departments of Transportation and Health and Human Services, National Consumers League, National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)" (American Dietetic Association, Nutrition Fact Sheet: Moderate Consumption of Distilled Spirits and Other Beverage Alcohol in an Adult Diet. Chicago, Illinois: American Dietetic Association, 2001, p.1).

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