A study from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, shows that light to moderate alcohol consumption may protect against type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes and alcohol
These findings applied to people who were in normal weight or overweight, but not those classed as clinically obese.
The study was based on data from 5500 European workers aged 40 or above and 5500 Maori, Pacific Island workers.
Scientists found that people in normal weight or overweight were at 77 and 62 per cent reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, respectively, compared to non-drinkers.
However, the study found no association between alcohol drinking in people who were obese and the reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
Even after other factors had been adjusted, including total cholesterol, smoking status and physical activity, these associations between type 2 diabetes and alcohol still applied.
The scientists did acknowledge, however, that the effect of the alcohol was dependent on quantity, with non-drinking and heavy drinking not reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Study limitations
The intention of the study was not to prove that alcohol can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, but it may be possible.
However, the U.S. National Toxicology Program recognises alcoholic beverages as carcinogens which may not be a good idea to use as a preventative against type 2 diabetes.

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