Drinking wine associated with slightly improved cardiometabolic risk in type 2 diabetes patients

Cholesterol markers improved in patients with type 2 diabetes who were assigned to drink wine, and some patients also saw glycemic benefits, a recent study found.


Cholesterol markers improved in patients with type 2 diabetes who were assigned to drink wine, and some patients also saw glycemic benefits, a recent study found.

The trial included 224 Israeli patients, age 40 and over, with well-controlled type 2 diabetes who abstained from alcohol at baseline but were judged to be low risk for alcohol abuse. They were randomly assigned to drink 150 mL of mineral water, white wine, or red wine with dinner for 2 years. Results were published in the Oct. 20 Annals of Internal Medicine.

The red wine group had a significant increase in HDL cholesterol (0.05 mmol/L [2.0 mg d/L]) and apolipoprotein A-I (0.03 g/L) and a decrease in the total cholesterol-HDL ratio (0.27) compared to the water group. The white wine group's corresponding lipid changes were not significantly different from the water group. In both wine groups, patients who were found to be slow ethanol metabolizers on genetic testing had improvements in fasting plasma glucose, insulin resistance, and HbA1c compared to fast metabolizers. No differences were seen in blood pressure, adiposity, liver function, drug therapy, symptoms, or quality of life, except that the wine patients slept better (P=0.040).

The authors concluded that initiating moderate wine intake, especially red wine, as part of a healthy diet is apparently safe and modestly decreases cardiometabolic risk in patients with well-controlled diabetes. They noted that the study did not allow them to separate the effect of the nonalcoholic constituents of wine from the combined effect with ethanol and that the potential risks of wine consumption should be weighed when these results are translated into clinical practice.

Also in Annals, the latest Graphic Medicine feature focused on diabetes. “The Daily Grind: A Day in the Life of Someone Living With Diabetes” was published online on Nov. 3. Annals Graphic Medicine brings together original graphic narratives, comics, animation/feature, and other creative forms by those who provide or receive health care.