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Alcohol Answer? Drinks lower glucose to protect heart

Alcohol's health benefits have shown up in numerous studies, but some of the mechanisms involved have remained a mystery. Now, scientists have shown that imbibing moderate amounts of beer, wine, or gin lowers blood glucose, an important benefit in staving off type 2 diabetes and reducing heart disease risk.

Previous reports of alcohol's effects against heart disease pointed to how it boosts high-density lipoproteins, the so-called good cholesterol (SN: 10/28/00, p. 283). Research also shows that moderate alcohol intake improves the body's use of insulin, one of the keys to controlling blood-glucose concentrations.

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