Want to do something to reduce Type II diabetes rates? Ease up on the anti-alcohol measures! Moderate alcohol consumption reduces risk of Type II diabetes substantially; heavy consumption doesn't seem to increase risk relative to non-drinking. A very brief lit review:
- Koppes et al 2005: Meta-analysis. Moderate drinkers (up to 4.8 std drinks per day) had relative diabetes risk about 30% lower than non-drinkers; non-drinkers and heavy drinkers have same risk.
- Ajani et al. 2000. Male doctors who drink one drink per day have a 43% reduced risk of diabetes.
- Joosten et al 2010: "Increases in alcohol consumption over time were associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes among initially rare and light drinkers. This lower risk was evident within a 4-year period following increased alcohol intake."
- Boggs et al 2010: Coffee (but not decaf) and alcohol reduce diabetes risk in a sample of African American women; tea does not reduce diabetes risk.
- Baliunas et al 2009: Metastudy. Two drinks per day offers greatest relative risk reduction: a 13% reduction relative to lifetime abstainers. After six drinks per day, relative risk is 1.02: slightly above that of abstainers, but the 95% CI is [0.83-1.26].
- Hu et al, 2001. Among a sample of nurses, alcohol consumption reduced diabetes risk. Protective effects strongly evident even among those with high BMI (>30).