Researchers found that people who drink three or four times a week have a reduced chance of developing diabetes compared to those who don’t drink at all – 32 per cent less for women and 27 per cent for men.
The study was led by Professor Janne Tolstrup and colleagues from the University of Southern Denmark, who surveyed more than 70,000 men and women on their alcohol drinking patterns over a five year period.
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During the follow up, 859 men and 887 women had developed diabetes.
The results showed that men who drink 14 units of alcohol a week reduce their chance of contracting diabetes by 43 per cent compared to non-drinkers, while women who drink nine units a week reduce their chance by 58 per cent.
The team concluded: “Our findings suggest that alcohol drinking frequency is associated with risk of diabetes and that consumption of alcohol over three to four days per week is associated with the lowest risk of diabetes, even after taking average weekly alcohol consumption into account.”
But while wine seemed to have a positive impact, women who drink spirits – including gin – frequently were found to have an increased risk of contracting diabetes. In fact, a daily gin tipple was found to increase the risk of diabetes by 83 per cent.
The findings were published in the Diabetologia journal.