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The study doesn't distinguish between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and the researchers have not found a clear link between binge drinking and diabetes, but the researchers admit that only a small number of participants reported binge drinking.

Men who drink 14 alcoholic beverages a week and women who drink nine have the lowest risk of developing diabetes compared to non-drinkers, according to a study published Thursday in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.

Wine is considered especially beneficial because it contains chemical compounds that can improve the consumer's blood sugar balance, the study says. Men who took one to six beers a week had a 21% lower risk of diabetes compared to men who drank less than one beer a week.

Now, when it comes to weekly alcohol intake, participants who drank moderately had a lower risk of diabetes.

"Our findings suggest that alcohol drinking frequency is associated with risk of diabetes and that consumption of alcohol over 3-4 days per week is associated with the lowest risk of diabetes, even after taking average weekly alcohol consumption into account", the researchers wrote in their paper.

However women who drink spirits frequently had an increased risk of diabetes, the study found.

Participants were also asked whether their alcohol consumption had increased, decreased or remained stable over the previous five years.

A Danish study found beer may protect against diabetes too, although women may want to steer clear of the gin bottle, with "mother's ruin" among the spirits which nearly double the risk.

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There have been several studies that have connected excessive drinking to type 2 diabetes. "Once somebody has diabetes, different forms of alcohol can have very different effects", he says. People who have diabetes either don't make enough insulin or don't use it effectively.

The study only looked at the association between drinking alcohol and risk of diabetes - it didn't prove cause and effect.

Moderate consumption of beer was also linked to lower diabetes risk for men in the study, but not for women.

"However, we do not recommend that anyone drink alcohol for its potential health benefits - for adults who do choose to drink, it is important to drink in moderation".

Next to wine, beer also had a positive effect on lowering diabetes risk.

The frequency of consumption of wine, beer, and spirits was assessed as less than one drink per week, 1-6 drinks per week and 7 or more drinks per week for women and 7-13 and 14 or more drinks per week for men.

"Regularly drinking more than the daily guidelines can affect your health in many ways", confirms Dr Gary Bolger, Chief Medical Officer at AXA PPP healthcare. Polyphenols play a role in helping to manage blood sugar. For women across all alcohol frequency groups, wine represented more than half of all alcohol intake.

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