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Moderate Wine Intake in Adults With Type 2 Diabetes FREE

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This article was published online first at www.annals.org on 13 October 2015.


The full report is titled “Effects of Initiating Moderate Alcohol Intake on Cardiometabolic Risk in Adults With Type 2 Diabetes. A 2-Year Randomized, Controlled Trial.” It is in the 20 October 2015 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 163, pages 569-579). The authors are Y. Gepner, R. Golan, I. Harman-Boehm, Y. Henkin, D. Schwarzfuchs, I. Shelef, R. Durst, J. Kovsan, A. Bolotin, E. Leitersdorf, S. Spitzen, S. Balag, E. Shemesh, S. Witkow, O. Tangi-Rosental, Y. Chassidim, I.F. Liberty, B. Sarusi, S. Ben-Avraham, A. Helander, U. Ceglarek, M. Stumvoll, M. Blüher, J. Thiery, A. Rudich, M.J. Stampfer, and I. Shai.


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Ann Intern Med. 2015;163(8):I-34. doi:10.7326/P15-9031
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13 102015.

What is the problem and what is known about it so far?

Moderate alcohol intake has been linked to lower rates of cardiovascular disease and death among healthy individuals. It is not clear whether patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) would have similar health benefits if they drink alcohol or whether this behavior would be harmful to their health.

Why did the researchers do this particular study?

To learn about the possible health benefits and harms of starting moderate wine intake in patients with T2DM and whether the type of wine matters.

Who was studied?

224 patients with well-controlled T2DM who did not drink alcohol before enrolling in the trial.

How was the study done?

The patients were randomly assigned to drink 5 ounces of red wine, white wine, or mineral water with their dinner for 2 years and were given instructions for a Mediterranean diet that did not have a calorie restriction. The researchers performed genetic tests that showed how quickly the patients metabolized alcohol. The researchers did various lipid tests and measured glucose control, blood pressure, liver function tests, medication use, and other symptoms at several time points during the 2-year follow-up.

What did the researchers find?

Compared with the water group, patients in the red wine group had improvements in their lipid tests. In both wine groups, patients who were “slow alcohol metabolizers” (according to the genetic tests) showed more improvements in glucose control tests than “fast alcohol metabolizers.” Compared with water, wine did not increase or decrease blood pressure or liver function tests.

What were the limitations of the study?

This was not a “blinded” trial, so patients knew which group they were assigned to.

What are the implications of the study?

This long-term trial showed that a healthy diet and moderate alcohol intake, particularly red wine, were associated with better lipid and glucose control than water and had no significant harmful effects. Genetic tests might help identify patients with T2DM who could benefit clinically from drinking moderate amounts of alcohol.

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