Events 29 June 2016

DWA Symposium Nutritional aspects of moderate wine consumption

Ernährung 2016 conference, June 9, 2016, Dresden, Germany

During the “Ernährung 2016” congress in Dresden, the DWA informed the participants of a symposium about the “Medical aspects of moderate wine consumption”. 130 scientists followed the presentations of Prof. Nicolai Worm, Munich, and Prof. Kristian Rett, Frankfurt am Main. The focus was on the widespread diseases of diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

According to Prof. Worm, both diseases are very closely related to lifestyle: simply too many calories and not enough exercise. As a consequence of such a combination, the body cells don’t react adequately to the hormone insulin and this results in insulin resistance. Insulin resistanceInsulin resistance is a condition in which the body produces insulin but does not use it properly.In... leads to excessive fat formation and fat accumulation; Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is the consequence.

This is not an isolated liver disease but a manifestation of the metabolic syndrome. Thus, NAFLD is an independent risk factor for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. So far, no medication exists. Worm therefore considers an improved lifestyle – exercise, sufficient sleep and sun as well as an improved eating and drinking pattern – as the basis for preventing and treating NAFLD.

Alcohol can work against the root of this metabolic disease: at amounts up to 35 g/ day, the body cells become more sensitive to insulin again. Due to its polyphenolic compounds, wine seem to be particularly useful. A moderate wine intake compared to abstinence is also associated with a reduced risk of NAFLD and its secondary diseases such as the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Wine also for diabetics?

The diabetologist and head physician of the hospital Sachsenhausen in Frankfurt, Prof. Kristian Rett, opened his firework of scientific data with the provocative question, whether wine consumption should be prohibited or prescribed for diabetics. He showed impressive scientific evidence that after the moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages, effects similar to insulin can be observed in the muscle cells. As a consequence, blood sugar uptake into the muscle cells is improved. Prof. Rett
Changes in the liver metabolism also ensure that the blood sugar level does not increase excessively. However, Prof. Rett cautioned to consume alcoholic beverages only with meals to avoid hypoglycaemia.

Nothing speaks against a glass of wine for preventing diabetes Rett concluded, since several meta-analyses show that not abstention but moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages are associated with the lowest diabetes risk.

In summary, the lively discussion of the participating nutritionists and physicians at the end showed the high interest in this topic.