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Two recent medical studies have linked the moderate consumption of wine to a lower incidence of the development of type 2 diabetes. One of the studies, to be published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, saw a team of researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands analysing the issue by looking at data drawn from the Dutch European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-NL), a larger health study of more than 520,000 people in 10 European countries.
After analysing 10 years’ worth of data, including 796 cases of type 2 diabetes, the researchers concluded that a lower rate of the disease among drinkers could not be explained by a healthier lifestyle alone. Alcohol, in some way, contributed directly to a lower incidence of the disease, as drinkers had a roughly 40 percent lower risk compared to abstainers.
Research from the University of Michigan recently found that eating grapes seemed to slow development of high blood pressure and insulin resistance. Both are the leading precursors to heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Together, the two create a condition known as metabolic syndrome, which affects 50 million Americans. In findings presented at the Experimental Biology convention in Anaheim, Calif., the Michigan team found that rats fed powder made from table grapes showed more favorable levels of blood sugar in the blood stream and improved glucose tolerance.
The effect is thought to be due to phytochemicals, which occur naturally in grapes and wine and include tannins, anthocyanins and resveratrol. Rats eating table grapes saw less arterial inflammation and oxidative damage.