Wine Tied to Healthier Arteries for Some Diabetics
February 27, 2018
Reuters – A BGU study suggests that some diabetics with plaque buildup in their arteries might have less debris in these blood vessels after adding wine to their diets.
BGU researchers examined 224 people with type 2 diabetes who normally didn’t drink alcohol, but were randomly assigned to follow a Mediterranean diet and drink approximately one glass of red wine, white wine or water daily. Among the subset of 174 people, 45 percent had detectable plaque at the start of the study.
Two years later, the researchers noticed that people who had the most plaque in their arteries experienced a small but statistically meaningful reduction by the end of the study, according to the report in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
“Among patients with well-controlled diabetes and a low risk for alcohol abuse, initiating moderate alcohol consumption in the context of a healthy diet is apparently safe and may modestly reduce cardiometabolic risk,” says lead study author Dr. Rachel Golan of BGU’s School of Public Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences.
Cardiometabolic risk factors can increase the chances of having diabetes, heart disease or a stroke. In addition to plaque in the arteries, other risk factors include high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, high cholesterol, smoking, and having poor diet and exercise habits.
Patients were told to follow a Mediterranean diet, which typically includes lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and olive oil. This diet also tends to favor lean sources of protein like chicken or fish over red meat, which contains more saturated fat.
Participants were provided with wine or mineral water throughout the study period along with a 150-milliliter (5.07-ounce) glass to measure their daily dose of their assigned beverage, which was consumed with dinner. Previous research has linked a Mediterranean diet to weight loss and a reduced risk of heart disease and some cancers as well as better management of blood sugar in people with diabetes.