A recent two-year study, published in The Annals of Internal Medicine, suggests that drinking moderate amounts of red wine with dinner could improve cholesterol in people with well-controlled type 2 diabetes. The same effects were not seen for those drinking white wine or water.
In the study, 224 people with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to drink 150 mL (a little more than half a cup) of mineral water, white wine or red wine with dinner for two years. All were non-alcohol drinkers before the study. They were asked to follow a Mediterranean diet (primarily plant-based foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats such as olive oil), but were not told to limit their daily calorie intake.
After two years, drinking red wine led to significant increases in “good” cholesterol (HDL) compared with drinking water; those drinking red wine saw an average of 9.8 percent increase in HDL. (Statins increase HDL levels by up to 15 percent.) The white-wine group’s HDL levels weren’t significantly different than those in the water group. The authors stress that more research is needed in this area. Stay tuned for updates.