HAVING a drink most days can significantly protect against diabetes, a study has found.
Consuming alcohol three or four days of the week was found to reduce the risk by 27 per cent in men and 32 per cent in women, compared with abstaining.
Wine had the biggest effect, probably because it contains chemical compounds that improve blood sugar balance, said researchers.
But there was a warning to women to stay clear of the gin bottle. A daily tipple of ‘mother’s ruin’ or other spirits increased the risk of diabetes by 83 per cent.
Previous studies had suggested that light to moderate alcohol consumption can cut the risk of diabetes, but the new research is the first to focus on drinking frequency.
Scientists from the University of Southern Denmark studied data on 70,551 men and women taking part in a Danish survey. Participants were quizzed about their drinking habits and monitored for five years.
The authors of the study wrote in the journal Diabetologia: ‘Our findings suggest that alcohol drinking frequency is associated with the risk of diabetes and that consumption of alcohol over three to four weekdays is associated with the lowest risks of diabetes, even after taking average weekly alcohol consumption into account.’
However Dr Graham Wheeler, a medical statistician at UCL, said: ‘While drinkers may want to raise a glass upon hearing this news, alcohol has been linked to the increased risk of alcoholic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and several cancers.’