Latest scientific news 27 September 2016

Drinking light to moderately seems to pose no risk for hyperglycemia in Type 2 Diabetics

Drinking light to moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages – with or without a meal -appears to have no significant effect on the glycemic control of type 2 diabetics.

Individuals with diabetes are told that drinking alcohol may increase their risk of hypoglycemia. However, the evidence for this advice is controversial. To clarify the association, UK scientists searched databases for randomized trials that examined the short and medium-term effects of moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages on the glycemic control in diabetic individuals. Pooled data from short-term studies showed no difference in the blood glucose levels at 0.5, 2, 4 and 24h after alcohol consumption between those who consumed alcoholic beverages in doses of 16-80 g compared to those who did not drink any alcoholic beverage. Pooled data from medium-term studies showed that there was no difference in blood glucose or HbA1c levels at the end of the study between those who consumed 11-18 g alcohol/day for 4-104 weeks and teetotalers. The scientists concluded that no available evidence exits that drinking light to moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages, with or without a meal, affects the glycemic control in individuals with Type 2 diabetes. They further suggested that there is no need for diabetic individuals to refrain from drinking moderate quantities of alcoholic beverages but cautioned about the potential dangers of excessive consumption.

Hirst JA, Aronson JK, Feakins BG, et al.  Short- and medium-term effects of light to moderate alcohol intake on glycaemic control in diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials. Diabet Med. 2016 Sep 2. doi: 10.1111/dme.13259. [Epub ahead of print]

For more information about this article, read the scientific abstract here.