Red Wine, Type-2 Diabetes, and Heart Health

Red wine has often been associated with heart health, but what about diabetes…specifically Type-2 diabetes? The answer is yes, diabetic patients do benefit from red wine, but with a few disclaimers. Consuming small amounts of alcohol, especially if you are male, have been shown to reduce blood sugar levels, which positively impacts diabetic patients. Here are some interesting things that Medicomp, leaders in portable cardiac monitoring, thinks makes red wine a heart-healthy choice (in moderation, of course).

Because a glass of red wine contains antioxidants, heart health is improved. This impacts patients with diabetes since diabetics are two to four times more likely to suffer from heart disease as the general public.

A recent study of men and women aged 40-75 years with stable type-2 diabetes who did not smoke or have a history of heart disease, stroke, or recent surgery focused on what researchers called a “Mediterranean diet”, which included either red wine, white wine, or water for dinner. Researchers chose this methodology because they were interested in studying people who did not normally consume alcohol.

The 224 people involved in the study were told to consume a glass of one of the three beverages daily for two years – longer than any other study of its kind – and the results were surprising.

This randomized, controlled trial found that consumers of red wine increased their HDL (good) cholesterol levels by approximately 2 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) when compared to water drinkers. White wine offered none of the cholesterol changes, possibly because red wine contains seven times the beneficial phenols of white wine.

Both red and white wine lowered insulin levels in individuals with a gene that slowed metabolism. This group showed better blood sugar control than the 20% of study subjects classified as “fast metabolizers”. Those with a faster metabolism showed lower blood pressure levels than other individuals in the study. None of the wine drinkers in the study showed negative effects of consuming a daily glass of wine and many reported better sleep habits than their water-drinking peers.

Overall, the researchers were surprised with the different results between red wine and white wine consumption. Because red wine decreases heart risk and aids in sleep, doctors may be more likely to allow diabetic patients to imbibe in a glass of red wine with dinner. While some doctors offer the caveat that a Mediterranean diet is highly fibrous, and patients who drastically changed their diets to conform with this lifestyle may have benefited more from the eating habits than the wine, they agreed that an occasional glass of red wine that accompanies a healthy diet will not negatively impact heart or diabetic patients.

Learn more about recent studies and how they impact heart and diabetic patients by reading Medicomp’s past blogs. For more information, contact the knowledgeable portable cardiac monitoring staff at Medicomp by calling (800) 23-HEART (234-3278).

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