Alcohol, Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes Risk

Research studies has demonstrated that drinking alcohol (beer, wine and liquor or spirits) in moderation is associated with significantly lower risk of developing diabetes mellitus.

This relationship was examined among pre-diabetic individuals in the Diabetes Prevention Program at 27 centers throughout the U.S. The prospective study followed 3,175 pre-diabetic patients who were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups and followed for over three years.

This large study found that drinking alcohol in moderation may improve insulin secretion and prevent the progression of pre-diabetes to diabetes.

Drinking in moderation has been described by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) a man consuming four drinks on any day and an average of 14 drinks per week. For women, it is consuming three drinks in any one day and an average of seven drinks per week.

A standard alcoholic drink is:

Standard drinks contain equivalent amounts of alcohol. There is no evidence that any particular form of alcoholic beverage (beer, wine, or distilled spirits) provides greater health benefits than any other.

Note: This website provides no recommendations for drinking alcohol and pre-diabetes or diabetes risk or for any other health or medical matter and none should be inferred.


  • Crandall, J.P., et al. Alcohol consumption and diabetes risk in the Diabetes Prevention Program. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2009, 90, 595-601.

Readings on Alcohol and Diabetes:

  • 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.
  • Beulens, J., et al. Alcohol consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes among older women. Diabetes Care, 2005 (December), 28, 2933-2938.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Kopper, 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.
  • 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.
  • Wei, M. et al. Alcohol intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes in men. Diabetes Care, 23(1), 2000, 18-26
  • Wheeler, M., et al. Is there a place for alcohol in your biabetes meal plan? Diabetes Forecast, 2003 (August).

Filed Under: Diabetes

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