A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that a glass of red wine may be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes.
For the new study, the researchers randomly assigned 224 adults with type 2 diabetes, aged 40–75, to drink 150 mL (about 5 oz) of either mineral water, white wine, or red wine with dinner for two years. The participants were previously not alcohol drinkers. As part of the study, they also followed a Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes plant-based foods, whole grains, legumes and nuts, and replacing butter with healthy fats. Overall, 87% completed the trial, with 80% drinking their daily dose of wine.
The researchers found that the people who drank red wine with dinner increased their “good” HDL cholesterol, which helps remove LDL or “bad” cholesterol from the arteries. They also lowered their risk of heart disease, as indicated by a lower ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol.
The researchers also looked for conditions that together make up the metabolic syndrome, which increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Compared to participants who drank mineral water, those in the red wine group had fewer of those conditions, such as a large waistline and high blood pressure, for example.
However, most participants did not have any improvements in their blood sugar levels. The researchers concluded that “moderate wine intake, especially red wine, among well-controlled diabetics as part of a healthy diet is apparently safe and modestly decreases cardiometabolic risk.”