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Light drinking "cuts diabetes risk"

The risk of developing type 2 diabetes may be reduced by drinking a moderate amount of alcohol, research has shown.

A total of 38,031 men who had not been diagnosed with cancer or diabetes were followed by researchers looking at their drinking habits.

Those who were light drinkers (drinking 0-4.9g a day) and increased consumption to moderate levels (five to 29.9g a day) had a lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared with light drinkers with unchanged habits.

Stable light drinkers also had a substantially higher risk of type 2 diabetes than consistent moderate drinkers.

All those in the study who were moderate drinkers were linked with at least a 25% lesser risk of type 2 diabetes compared with stable light drinkers, regardless of their habits at the start of the study.

For those who were light or moderate drinkers at the start of the study and then increased their drinking to 30g or more per day, there were no additional cuts in risk for type 2 diabetes.

However, the authors concluded, "Decisions and recommendations about changes in alcohol consumption should, as with alcohol consumption in general, consider the full range of risks and benefits to an individual."

The study involving men who were all in the Health Professionals Follow-Up study appears in the January issue of the journal Diabetes.

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