From Reuters we read:
NEW YORK, Jan 06
(Reuters Health) -- Men who are 'moderate' drinkers -- between 5 to 10
drinks per week -- have a lower risk for adult-onset diabetes than
either abstainers or heavy drinkers, researchers report.
Well, that wasn't exactly what the
scientist said - Reuters turned that around a bit. The next
paragraph tells the story:
"Men with a high
alcohol intake may be able to reduce their risk of developing type 2
diabetes if they drink less," report Dr. Ming Wei and colleagues at the
Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas. Their findings are published in the
January issue of the journal Diabetes Care.
Looking up this study, I found the
Alcohol intake and incidence of type 2
diabetes in men.
1. M Wei,
2. L W Gibbons,
3. T L Mitchell,
4. J B Kampert and
5. S N Blair
Cooper Institute, Dallas, Texas 75230, USA.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the relation between alcohol intake and incidence
of type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: This prospective study
included 8,663 men with fasting plasma glucose measurements from at
least two medical examinations. Alcohol intake was classified into five
groups: nondrinkers and four quartiles (Qs) of drinkers according to the
amount of alcohol intake. Type 2 diabetes was diagnosed by 1997 American
Diabetes Association criteria. RESULTS: There were 149 incident cases of
type 2 diabetes during 52,588 person-years of follow-up. There was a
U-shaped association between alcohol intake and diabetes, with the
lowest incidence of diabetes at Q2 (61.9-122.7 g/week). As compared with
Q2, men in Q3 and Q4 had a 2.2- (95% CI 1.2-3.9, P = 0.01) and 2.4-fold
(1.4-4.4, P<0.01) risk of developing diabetes, while nondrinkers and men
in Q1 had 1.8- (1.0-3.3, P<0.05) and 1.4-fold (0.7-2.6, P = 0.34) higher
risk of diabetes, respectively. These associations persisted after
adjustment for age, fasting plasma glucose, smoking, BMI, blood
pressure, serum triglyceride concentration, cardiorespiratory fitness,
HDL cholesterol, waist circumference, and parental diabetes.
CONCLUSIONS: We observed an elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes
in nondrinkers and men with high alcohol intakes, when compared with men
who reported moderate alcohol intake. Men with a high alcohol intake may
be able to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes if they drink
Oddly, this seems to be using the same
body of data of a 1999 study by the same scientists, which focused on the
benefits of cardio vascular fitness. hmmm.
Possible issues with this study.
The study was basically epidemiological which is less than accurate
because many factors are not taken into consideration - the word "data
dredge" comes to mind. Also out of over 8600 men, they only observed
149 cases of diabetes so this isn't a whole lot to make a judgment from.
The results were confusing showing that men who were very light drinkers
had a similar risk to non drinkers in coming down with diabetes but the
non drinker risk factor was only 1.8 higher than moderate drinkers (and
any risk factor under 2.0 is not significant).
The scientists seem to emphasize that it was the cutting down of heavy
drinking that significantly reduced the risk of getting diabetes rather
than focusing on the non drinker risk being slightly higher than the
I don't think you can take this one to the bank, especially as other
studies have determined that the risks of drinking which include possible
liver damage and damage on the cellular level likely outweigh any benefits
and most studies specify the health benefits as derived from drinking wine
which has an antioxidant in it and also has a very low alcohol content.
My questions when reporting this study in 2006 were:
- Most moderate drinkers I know with the diabetes gene, did, in fact
come down with full blown diabetes
- Why would alcohol, loaded with sugar, lower the risk of diabetes?
- Why would alcohol which damages the liver with every drink, lower
the risk of anything?
Actually, the final paragraph of the Reuters article seems to
disprove the former claim:
"Based on their
findings, the authors estimate that "24% of the incident cases of
diabetes in (adult men) might be attributable to high alcohol intake."
While they do not recommend that abstainers take up drinking to lower
their diabetes risk, they do urge that heavy drinkers cut back in order
to lower their disease risk. SOURCE: Diabetes Care 2000;23:18-22."
Hello? TWENTY FOUR PERCENT of diabetes caused by drinking and yet,
Reuters wants us to believe that these doctors say that if you DRINK a
moderate amount you won't get diabetes? What is wrong with this picture?
I know, they hope folks will never get to the final paragraph, right?
The liquor lobby must be working fulltime. Maybe people _are_ drinking
less. Can't have a cutdown of booze sales, now can we!