A team of researchers examined the relation of alcohol consumption to glucose metabolism and insulin resistance (IR) as a function of depressive symptoms, adiposity, and sex. Healthy adults (aged 18-65 years) provided fasting blood samples and information on lifestyle factors. Alcohol intake was categorised as never, infrequent (1-3 drinks/month), occasional (1-7 drinks/week), and regular (≥2 drinks/day) drinkers. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was used to assess symptom severity. Primary outcomes were fasting insulin, glucose, and insulin resistance assessed by the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA).
Analysis showed that alcohol consumption was negatively associated with Insulin Resistance, insulin, and body mass index (BMI), but not with glucose or BDI. Adjusting for potential confounders including BMI, alcohol consumption was associated with Insulin Resistance and insulin as a function of BDI and sex.
For women with minimal depressive symptoms, lightto- moderate alcohol consumption was associated with lower insulin resistance and insulin. Alcohol consumption was not associated with metabolic markers in women with higher depressive symptoms and in men. In analysis using BMI as a continuous moderator, alcohol consumption was only associated with insulin (p = 0.004). Post-hoc comparisons between BMI groups (<25 vs ≥25 kg/m2) revealed that lightto- moderate alcohol consumption was associated with lower insulin but only in subjects with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2. The benefits of light-to-moderate alcohol consumption on fasting insulin and IR are sex dimorphic and appear to be independently moderated by adiposity and depressive symptom severity, the research concludes.
Source: The Relation of Light-to-Moderate Alcohol Consumption to Glucose Metabolism and Insulin Resistance in Nondiabetic Adults: the Moderating Effects of Depressive Symptom Severity, Adiposity, and Sex. Suarez EC, Beckham JC, Green KT. Int J Behav Med. 2017 Jul 7. doi: 10.1007/s12529-017-9652-5.