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Alcohol alters insulin levels
(24/11/2003) from http://www.health24.co.za/news/Healthy_eating/1-919,25551.aspKicking back a few glasses of wine after dinner may be relaxing, but it might not be so good for your health, say Australian researchers.
In a study in the November issue of Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, researchers found drinking the equivalent of three glasses of white wine after eating a carbohydrate-laden meal caused insulin levels to drop.
A change in glucose metabolism?
[Our findings] suggest that drinking white wine on its own after a meal may alter glucose metabolism and produce a pseudo-diabetic condition, says study author Anna Kokavec, a research psychologist affiliated with La Trobe University in Bundoora, Australia. There is possibly no safe level of white wine consumption and this may extend to other commercially available alcohol products. Furthermore, white wine is probably not a product that should be recommended for consumption by diabetics.
Others aren't convinced, however.
There is nothing in this study that is relevant to advice that physicians should give their patients about the consumption of white wine, says Dr Kenneth Hupart, chief of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at Nassau University Medical Center in New York.
The research study
The researchers had the volunteers eat non-vegetarian pizza - the study does not specify how much pizza each person consumed - and drink a non-alcoholic soft drink. Then they were asked to drink three average-sized glasses of wine slowly over 90 minutes.
Blood glucose and insulin levels were measured before the study participants ate and then again at 45 minutes, 90 minutes and 135 minutes after eating.
Insulin levels dropped quickly after the consumption of wine, in some cases to a very low level, Kokavec says. Glucose levels also dropped.
Effect not medically relevant, expert says
This study does not show any effect that is medically relevant, he adds.
Kokavec, however, says that any disruption in energy metabolism or utilisation could have serious consequences to the health of the individual. The efficient regulation of insulin is vital in meeting the energy needs of cells located largely outside the brain and any disregulation in insulin could lead to some cells being starved of energy, which could cause serious disease.
Hupart does say it's wise for people with diabetes to limit their alcohol consumption, especially people who are taking medications to control their diabetes. Hupart suggests discussing your alcohol consumption with your doctor. - (HealthDayNews)
For more detail see the diabetes centre http://www.health24.co.za/centre.asp?subcontenttypeid=49
See also this article on the relation between alcohol, women and type 2 diabetes.
Last updated on 18 April 2007
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