Alcohol and Metabolic Syndrome

To examine the relationship between alcohol consumption and metabolic syndrome, a meta-analysis was conducted of seven studies with 22,000 participants.

The analysis found that drinking alcohol in moderation significantly reduced the prevalence of metabolic syndrome.

The positive effects of moderate alcohol consumption were found among men who consumed up to a little over three drink per day and among women who consumed up to one and one-half drinks each day.

A standard drink is:

  • A 12-ounce bottle or can of beer
  • A 5-ounce glass of wine
  • A one and 1/2 ounce of 80 proof distilled spirits (either straight or in a mixed drink)

Standard Drinks

Standard Drinks graphically illustrates information on the equivalence of standard drinks of beer, wine and distilled spirits or liquor. Its accuracy has been established by medical and other health professionals.

The alcohol content of a standard drink of beer, dinner wine, or distilled spirits is equivalent. 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 provides no recommendations for drinking alcohol and metabolic syndrome or for any other health or medical matter and none should be inferred.


  • Alkerwi A, et al. Alcohol consumption and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome: A meta-analysis of observational studies. Atherosclerosis, 2009, 204, 624–635.

Readings on Alcohol and Metabolic Syndrome:

  • Baik, I., and Shin, C. Prospective study of alcohol consumption and metabolic syndrome. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2008, 87(5), 1145-1163.
  • Buja, A., et al. Alcohol consumption and metabolic syndrome in the elderly: results from the Italian longitudinal study on aging. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2009, doi:10.1038/ejcn.2009.136.
  • Fan, A.Z., et al. Patterns of alcohol consumption and the metabolic syndrome. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2008, 93(10), 3833-3838.
  • Freiberg, M., et al. Alcohol consumption and the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in the U.S.: A cross-sectional analysis of data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Diabetes Care, 2004, 27(12), 2954-2959.
  • Gigeux, I., et al. Moderate alcohol consumption is more cardioprotective in men with the metabolic syndrome. Journal of Nutrition, 2006, 136, 3027-3032.
  • Takeuchi, T., et al. Association of metabolic syndrome with smoking and alcohol intake in Japanese men. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 2009, 11(9), 1093-1098.
  • Yoon, Y.S., et al. Alcohol consumption and the metabolic syndrome in Korean adults: the 1998 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2004, 81(1), 217-224.

Filed Under: Diabetes