Can Diabetics Drink Alcohol?

Is it safe to consume alcohol if you suffer from diabetes?
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1) The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends limiting the daily intake of alcohol to 2 or 1 units a day. That’s the equivalent of 6 ounces of beer, or just 0.85 ounces of spirits.

2) CYP2E1 is an enzyme which collects in the liver and also works to break down alcohol. CYP2E1 is more active in diabetics than non-diabetics, which might help explain why liver disease and diabetes are so strongly linked.

3) During alcohol metabolism, the liver, pancreas, and brain cells utilize extra oxygen. So that means that the more you drink, the less oxygen there will be for other cell functions, and this can result in tissue damage, especially in the liver. Plus, a pancreas damaged by alcohol will produce less insulin, and when coupled with chronic insulin resistance, that smaller quantity of insulin will have even less of an effect.

4) Beer is high in liquid carbs, and many brands of beer can contain 15, and in some cases up to 20 grams of carbohydrates per drink. And since liquid sugar contains no fiber, drinking carb-heavy alcoholic beverages, especially on an empty stomach, can cause glucose levels to spike.

5) Drinking alcohol in conjunction with diabetic medications may have an opposite effect, potentially dropping your blood sugar too low. As alcohol gets processed and metabolized in the liver, where diabetic medications are also processed, drinking while taking these medications can put significant strain on your liver, which can then lead to a dangerous drop in glucose levels.

6) If there is an alcoholic beverages that exhibits clear health benefits, it’s red wine. Red wine is a good source of antioxidant polyphenols, including CATECHINS, EPICATECHINS, and RESVERATROL, which have been shown to protect the linings of blood vessels. They also work to halt the growth of certain types of cancer, aid skin health, lower stress levels, increase levels of probiotic gut bacteria, decrease LDL cholesterol, and reduce the risk of heart disease in general.

7) Red wine contains trace amounts of iron and calcium, which can each work to lower blood pressure. In fact, a recent trial showed that red wine extract helped improve both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in hypertensive participants. A separate study showed moderate red wine intake may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes for both men and women, while other studies have even found that a small amount of red wine may work to reduce post-meal glucose levels while improving insulin sensitivity.

8) Switching from a higher to moderate alcoholic consumption can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 30%. Diabetics are 50% more likely to suffer from mild to severe non-alcoholic fatty liver disease than non-diabetics, and having fatty liver disease raises the risk of becoming diabetic.

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