Light Drinking May Aid Glucose; Fat Metabolism in For Those with T2D

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By : dLife Editors

A new review from China shows that moderate alcohol consumption for people with Type 2 diabetes could have a positive effect on blood glucose and fat metabolism, although researchers note further research is required.

The analysis was conducted by Yuling Chen, Southeast University, Nanjing, China, and Dr. Li Ling, director of the department of endocrinology, Zhongda Hospital and School of Medicine, Southeast University, Nanjing, China, and colleagues.

The authors studied PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases up to March 2019 for randomized controlled trials that assessed the relationship between alcohol consumption and glucose and lipid metabolism among adults with Type 2 diabetes.

Data extracted data from the randomized controlled trials were analyzed using computer modeling.

The authors studied ten relevant randomized controlled trials involving 575 participants.

The analysis showed that light to moderate amount of alcohol consumption was associated with reduced triglyceride (blood fat) levels and insulin levels.

However, alcohol did not lower blood sugar levels, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), or total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein (good) cholesterol.

Light to moderate drinking was defined by the authors as 20g or less of alcohol per day.

This translates to approximately 1.5 cans of beer (330ml, 5% alcohol), a large (200ml) glass of wine (12% alcohol) or a 50ml serving of 40% alcohol spirit (for example vodka/gin), the authors stated.

However, regardless of the effects on metabolism shown by this analysis, the accepted norm remains that people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes need to be careful with alcohol consumption.

Drinking can lead to more hypoglycemic episodes because alcohol makes blood sugars drop. It can also cause weight gain and other health issues.

“Findings of this meta-analysis show a positive effect of alcohol on glucose and fat metabolism in people with Type 2 diabetes,” the authors conclude. “Larger studies are needed to further evaluate the effects of alcohol consumption on blood sugar management, especially in patients with Type 2 diabetes.”

The analysis was presented at this year’s Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Barcelona, Spain (16-20 September).

Note the findings are preliminary and have not been published in a journal yet.

Read about low carb libations here. Learn more about alcohol consumption and diabetes here.


  1. Diabetologia. (2019, September 16). Light drinking may be beneficial in type 2 diabetes: Further research needed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2019, from