Diabetes UK: Alcohol study not a “green light”

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31 Jul 2017 --- A recent study in which researchers from Denmark suggest that drinking moderately three or four times a week may reduce the risk of diabetes shouldn’t be taken as a “green light” to drink to excess due to the “complex” nature of the disease, according to a Diabetes UK response.

The study, published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, outlines that people who drink three to four times per week are less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who never drink.

In response to the study, Dr. Emily Burns, Head of Research Communications at Diabetes UK, says: “Type 2 diabetes risk is complex. Several factors contribute to it, including family history, ethnic background, age and being overweight. While these findings are interesting, we wouldn’t recommend people see them as a green light to drink more than the existing NHS guidelines. Especially as the impact of regular alcohol consumption on the risk of Type 2 will be different from one person to the next.”

“Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition, and around three in five cases can be prevented or delayed by eating healthily, moving more and losing weight if you’re overweight. If you’re worried about your risk of developing the condition, we’d advise you to speak to a healthcare professional,” Burns adds.

Diabetes UK also calls the finding “very interesting” in its response but emphasizes that further research is needed as people may change their drinking habits over time, while researchers in the study recorded drinking habits only once. To better understand how alcohol might affect the risk of Type 2 diabetes, it says, future research would need to follow people for a longer period and record any changes in their alcohol intake.

by Paul Creasy

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