A study published in Diabetologia, conducted by researchers from the National Institute of Public Health of the University of Southern Denmark, suggests that people who drink three to four times a week are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who never drink.

The study, which surveyed over 70,000 people on alcohol intake, found that wine was particularly beneficial—as it likely plays a role in helping manage blood sugar. The study does note, however, that drinking frequency has an independent effect from the amount of alcohol taken: the effects are more beneficial when drinking the alcohol in four portions, rather than all at once.

The researchers concluded that moderate drinking three to four times a week reduced a woman’s risk of diabetes by 32%, while it lowered a man’s risk by 27%, compared with people drinking less than one day a week.

The findings further suggest that not all types of alcohol yielded the same effect: while men who drank 1-6 peers per week lowered their diabetes risk by 21%, there was little to no impact on women’s risk. Conversely, a high intake of spirits among women significantly increased their risk of diabetes—yet there was no effect on men.

The team have used a similar survey to research the effect of alcohol on other conditions, finding that drinking moderately a few times a week was linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disorders including heart attack and stroke.

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