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Copyright 2013 Natural Standard (
March 2012

Alcohol Consumption Linked to Diabetes Risk

Men who consume a lot of alcohol may have an increased risk for developing diabetes, according to a new study.

Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is a chronic health condition where the body is unable to produce enough insulin and properly break down sugar (glucose) in the blood. Glucose comes from food and is used by the cells for energy. Glucose is also made in the liver. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, a large gland behind the stomach. Insulin is needed to move sugar into the cells where it can be used for energy needed for body processes.

In a recent study, researchers evaluated self-reported alcohol intake data over the course of 8-10 years on 2070 men and 3058 women with normal blood sugar at the beginning of the study. Pre-diabetic individuals (70 men and 41 women) were also evaluated.

The researchers found that alcohol intake was linked to an increased risk for developing diabetes in men. Pre-diabetes risk was linked to high beer consumption in men, while pre-diabetes risk decreased in women with high wine consumption. Low-to-moderate alcohol intake in women was also linked to a decreased risk of diabetes.

The authors concluded that high alcohol consumption may increase the risk for diabetes in men, and low-to-moderate consumption may decrease risk in women. Additional research is necessary to further understand these findings.

For more information about diabetes, please visit Natural Standard's Medical Conditions Database.


  1. Cullmann M, Hilding A, Ostenson CG. Alcohol consumption and risk of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes development in a Swedish population. Diabet Med. 2012 Apr;29(4):441-52. View Abstract
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.
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