New Advice for Type 2 Diabetics: Drink Wine
January 30, 2019
Wine Spectator – Though numerous studies have shown the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption, most researchers are hesitant to recommend that someone who doesn’t drink should start for their health. Many scientific reports do just the opposite, cautioning readers that just because wine was shown to have a certain health benefit in a particular study, doesn’t mean nondrinkers should suddenly begin enjoying a daily glass.
But now, a recent report from Ben-Gurion University on wine and type 2 diabetes suggests that those with the disease might experience benefits if they switch from abstention to moderate drinking, with evidence to back up the claim.
“Wine and Health–New Evidence,” published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is a summary of findings from the CASCADE (CArdiovaSCulAr Diabetes and Ethanol) trial, in which 224 participants with type 2 diabetes who previously abstained from alcohol were instructed to drink a glass of either red wine, white wine or water each day, and follow a Mediterranean diet. The study was led by Dr. Rachel Golan, Dr. Yftach Gepner and Prof. Iris Shai from BGU’s School of Public Health.
“Although several … studies demonstrated protective associations between moderate drinking and cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, hypertension, certain types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, neurological disorders, and metabolic syndrome, no conclusive recommendations exist regarding moderate wine consumption,” state the authors. “Here, we … suggest that initiating moderate alcohol consumption among well controlled persons with type 2 diabetes is apparently safe.”
They point to two key substudies of the trial that illustrate this conclusion. One substudy, as previously reported, reveals that wine was shown to slow the progression of atherosclerosis in diabetics. The second substudy focused on heart rate variability (HRV), or the variation in the time interval between heartbeats. (Poor HRV is common in type 2 diabetics, and is a predictor of cardiovascular disease and overall mortality.)
As the study’s text notes: “Although both the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association discuss moderate alcohol consumption in their guidelines, a conclusive recommendation is not given, [nor is] a recommendation to initiate moderate intake.” This research might help change that.