Drinking a Glass of Wine with Dinner Could Help Combat Diabetes

Science Says Drinking a Glass of Wine with Dinner Could Help Combat Diabetes

According to a study by Tulane University researchers, the grape compounds in the beverage can reduce blood sugar levels linked with the health condition.

Nashia Baker, Associate Digital Editor at Martha Stewart

By Nashia BakerMarch 04, 2022ADVERTISEMENTPinMore

woman pouring red wine at dinner table

CREDIT: LINDA RAYMOND / GETTY IMAGES

Do you have a favorite drink you like to enjoy with dinner each night? If you usually pair your evening meal with a glass of wine, then you could be boosting your health along the way. According to a new study by Tulane University researchers, the grape compounds found in wine can contribute to the lowering of blood sugar levels. “Drinking moderate amounts of wine with meals may prevent type 2 diabetes if you do not have another health condition that may be negatively affected by moderate alcohol consumption and in consultation with your doctor,” Dr. Hao Ma, the lead study author and a biostatistical analyst at the Tulane University Obesity Research Center, said in a statement.

The researchers studied data from 312,000 British locals who considered themselves “regular drinkers.” During the follow-up portion of the study, the team found that 8,600 developed type 2 diabetes after being examined over the course of ten years. Based on their findings, the scientists noted that people who had one or two glasses of red wine when eating their meals had 14 percent less likely of a chance of developing diabetes over the time period. This is because of nutritious chemicals found in red wine, such as resveratrol, which is an antioxidant-like substance.

Related: Are Certain Types of Alcohol Better or Worse for Your Heart Health?

“The effects of alcohol consumption on health have been described as a double-edged sword because of its apparent abilities to cut deeply in either direction—harmful or helpful, depending on how it is consumed,” said Ma. “Previous studies have focused on how much people drink and have had mixed results. Very few studies have focused on other drinking details, such as the timing of alcohol intake.”

Those who drank wine moderately, one glass for women or two for men each day, with a meal tended to have the most benefit. “Clinical trials have also found that moderate drinking may have some health benefits, including on glucose metabolism,” Ma said. “However, it remains unclear whether glucose metabolism benefits translate into a reduction of type 2 diabetes. In our study, we sought to determine if the association between alcohol intake and risk of type 2 diabetes might differ by the timing of alcohol intake with respect to meals.”

However, more research is still needed to fully determine the true benefit in the relationship between alcohol and diabetes. “These data suggest that it is not the alcohol with meals but other ingredients in wine, perhaps antioxidants, that may be the factor in potentially reducing new-onset type 2 diabetes,” Robert Eckel, a professor at the University of Colorado, said. “While the type of wine, red versus white, needs to be defined, and validation of these findings and mechanisms of benefit are needed, the results suggest that if you are consuming alcohol with meals, wine may be a better choice.”

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