Health, Effects of Wine Consumption on: Diabetes mellitus

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About
Although diabetics are obliged to watch carefully what they eat and drink, alcohol taken with a meal does not substantially alter their blood sugar level and is therefore an appropriate element in a diabetic’s diet. As the World Health Organization acknowledges, moderate consumers of alcohol, and particularly wine drinkers, have a significantly lower risk of developing Type-2 diabetes mellitus than heavy drinkers and non-drinkers. Type-2 diabetes is the form of diabetes which typically develops in middle age and is usually treatable with diet and tablets. Type-2 diabetes is due not so much to lack of insulin but to decreased response to it. Research shows that moderate drinkers are more sensitive to insulin than non-drinkers, probably because alcohol moderates the effect of the cytokines, which appear to contribute to the development of Type-2 diabetes.