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Benefits Of Red Wine For People With Type 2 Diabetics

Red wine is packed with antioxidants, melatonin, and polyphenols that offer many health benefits to the human body. According to the  Ameri...

Red wine is packed with antioxidants, melatonin, and polyphenols that offer many health benefits to the human body.
According to the American Diabetes Association, drinking red wine can lower blood sugar for up to 24 hours. Because of this, they recommend checking your blood sugar before you drink, while you drink, and monitoring it for up to 24 hours after drinking.

Recent studies revealed that moderate red wine consumption (defined as one glass or 5 oz. per day in this study) can reduce the risks of heart disease in people with well-controlled type 2 diabetes. In the study, more than 200 participants were monitored for two years. One group had a glass of red wine each night with dinner, one had white wine, and the other had mineral water. All followed a healthy Mediterranean-style diet without any calorie restrictions.

Red wine contains Polyphenols that reduce cognitive defects.
After two years, the red wine group had higher levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or good cholesterol) than they did before, and lower cholesterol levels overall. They also saw benefits in glycemic control. The researchers concluded that drinking moderate amounts of red wine in conjunction with a healthy diet can “modestly decrease” heart disease risks. 

Red wine has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, lower the risk of certain cancers, and decrease the likelihood of heart disease. Packed with antioxidants, melatonin, and polyphenols, red wine offers a potent defense against stress.
Older studies also reveal associations between moderate red wine intake and health benefits among type 2 diabetics, whether well-controlled or not. Benefits included improved post-meal blood sugar levels, better next morning fasting blood sugar levels, and improved insulin resistance.

The review also points out that it may not be the alcohol itself, but rather components of the red wine, like polyphenols (health-promoting chemicals in foods) that confer the benefits. This distinction between red wine and other alcoholic beverages was further confirmed in a 2022 studyTrusted Source.

Type 1 Diabetics

While moderate red wine consumption may offer health benefits for the general population and individuals with Type 2 Diabetes, those with Type 1 Diabetes should typically avoid red wine and instead seek guidance from their healthcare provider. Red wine can act as a "sugar inhibitor," potentially causing hypoglycemia in individuals with Type 1 diabetes. This effect, coupled with the risk of delayed hypoglycemia following wine consumption, can present considerable dangers for those relying on insulin therapy to regulate their blood sugar levels.

The takeaway

Red wine is loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols and is credited with numerous potential health benefits when you drink it in moderate amounts. The ADA defines moderate drinking as a maximum of one 5 oz. serving of red wine for women and two for men. Red wine, when consumed in moderation, can offer several potential benefits for people with type 2 diabetes. Here are some of the potential benefits:

1. Cardiovascular Health: Moderate consumption of red wine has been associated with improved cardiovascular health. Resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, has antioxidant properties and may help reduce inflammation and protect the lining of blood vessels, potentially lowering the risk of heart disease in people with diabetes who are at higher risk of cardiovascular complications.

2. Blood Sugar Regulation: Some studies suggest that moderate red wine consumption may improve insulin sensitivity, which is beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes. However, it's essential to note that excessive alcohol consumption can have the opposite effect and lead to increased blood sugar levels.

3. Improved Lipid Profile: Moderate consumption of red wine has been linked to improvements in lipid profiles, including higher levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides. This can contribute to better overall cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of complications associated with type 2 diabetes.

4. Antioxidant Properties: Red wine contains various antioxidants, including resveratrol, flavonoids, and polyphenols, which have been shown to have protective effects against oxidative stress and inflammation. These antioxidants may help mitigate some of the complications associated with diabetes, such as nerve damage and kidney disease.

5. Potential Blood Pressure Regulation: Some studies suggest that moderate consumption of red wine may help lower blood pressure, which is essential for people with diabetes who are at higher risk of hypertension and its complications.

People with diabetes who choose to take advantage of these potential benefits should remember that moderation is key, and the timing of alcohol intake with food intake needs to be considered, especially for those on diabetes medicine.

This article has been thoughtfully compiled by Nambili Samuel, an International Diabetes Federation (IDF) certified expert in diabetes care. You can follow him on LinkedIn.