Does Wine Benefit Type 2 Diabetes?

Posted by Linda Ly, M.D. on Dec 12, 2015 9:00:00 AM

If you have Type 2 diabetes, you may feel you’re constantly denying yourself things you used to enjoy. But I’ve read two studies recently that suggest a glass of wine with dinner may be OK, and even beneficial – if you are otherwise healthy and clear it with your doctor.

Wine Has Positive Effect on Cholesterol

People with Type 2 diabetes often are at higher risk of heart disease and have lower levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol. A study I saw in the Annals of Internal Medicine looked at the safety and effects of people with Type 2 diabetes drinking moderate amounts of alcohol. Participants drank 5 ounces of red wine, white wine or water with their dinner for two years. They also followed a well-balanced Mediterranean-type diet. 

The results surprised me a bit. Those who drank red wine actually had lower cholesterol and higher HDL levels at the end of the study. Sleep quality was better as well. 

Worldwide Study Shows Perks of Wine 

Another recent study proposes that moderate – that’s the important word – amounts of wine seem to lower rate of heart problems and other serious conditions in people with Type 2 diabetes.


More than 11,000 people in 20 countries were classified as nondrinkers, moderate drinkers or heavy drinkers. They then were surveyed about their alcohol use for two years. At the five-year follow-up, wine drinkers had almost one-quarter fewer cardiovascular events than nondrinkers. 

Check Before You Sip 

Let’s be clear. I am not recommending you head straight to the nearest watering hole. But if you have Type 2 diabetes and occasionally enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner, it may not be harmful. Check with your doctor first, as many other factors figure into the decision whether lifting a glass might be a good choice for you. 

And, of course, keep up with all the healthful habits you know can help diabetes. Eat right, exercise regularly and keep an eye on your blood pressure and glucose levels. 

If you have Type 2 diabetes, have you talked with your doctor about drinking wine?



Linda Ly, a board-certified Family Medicine physician who cares for patients at Meyerland Plaza Clinic.  Her clinical interests include preventive medicine, hypertension and diabetes. 



Topics: diabetes, diabetes and wine

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