Drinking a glass of red wine every day as part of a healthy diet can help patients with well-controlled type 2 diabetes improve cardiac health and manage cholesterol, according to an article published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Both red and white wine can improve glucose control, depending on alcohol metabolism and genetic profiling.
People with diabetes are at increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease and have lower levels of “good” cholesterol. Some studies suggest that light drinking is associated with improvements in biomarkers for cardiovascular risk, but randomized, controlled trials are lacking to determine the benefits and harms of moderate alcohol consumption for patients with type 2 diabetes.
Researchers sought to assess the effects of moderate wine consumption in persons with type 2 diabetes. They also sought to determine if the type of wine consumed mattered. They randomly assigned 224 patients with well-controlled type 2 diabetes to drink 150 mL of mineral water, white wine, or red wine with dinner for two years and then measured lipid and glycemic control profiles, as well as other cardiovascular measures and quality of life. All participants were also encouraged to follow a Mediterranean diet without caloric restriction.
After two years, patients who drank wine had decreased cardiometabolic risks compared to patients who drank mineral water. The red wine drinkers experienced the most significant changes in lipid variables, suggesting the potential synergy of moderate alcohol intake with specific nonalcoholic wine constituents. The authors caution that the benefits of drinking wine should be weighed against potential risks when translated into clinical practice.