Q: My husband was just taken off type 2 diabetes pills due to controlling his A1C number by diet! I'm very proud of him, and his doctors were excited for this accomplishment also. What would be your suggestion on red wine serving per day? —Barbara H.
A: Congratulations to your husband. According to the American Diabetes Association—and as you and your husband surely know—managing one’s diet and exercise makes a huge difference in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Still, red wine (whose effects on diabetics have long been the subject of scientific inquiry) can probably help your husband manage his A1C, too.
Here’s how it works: When you eat a meal, especially one that contains sugars and starches, your blood glucose soars—a phenomenon that’s especially undesirable for diabetics. But researchers at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences in Vienna found in 2010 that the polyphenols in red wine activate a certain receptor, the PPARgamma, which can block inflammation and convert sugar into lipids. “So if you drink red wine together with a diet rich in sugar, the glycemic index”—which measures how quickly glucose appears in the blood—“will be improved,” explains Alois Jungbauer, lead author of the study. These results have been confirmed by a number of other studies, including from the University College London Medical School (2003) and Harvard Medical School (2012).
In other words, according to Professor Jungbauer’s findings, the red wine that your husband drinks with dinner should slow down the release of glucose into his bloodstream. As for how much he can safely imbibe every day, that’s a matter that he should take up with his doctor.
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