Study under review: Effect of wine on carotid atherosclerosis in type 2 diabetes: a 2-year randomized controlled trial.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. In the early 1990s, researchers analyzed the relationship between heart disease mortality and a defined cholesterol-saturated fat index in 40 countries. A strong association between increased cholesterol-saturated fat intake and increased death rates from heart disease was observed for nearly all countries. Yet, despite having one of the highest cholesterol-saturated fat indexes, France had a heart disease death rate similar to countries with half of their cholesterol-saturated fat index level.
This observation was called the French Paradox: how do the French eat a diet rich in saturated fat and maintain a low rate of heart disease mortality? An early explanation was that moderate wine consumption was the reason for this paradox, even though excessive alcohol intake is associated with increased cardiovascular mortality. Observational data have demonstrated a J-shaped curve for the relationship between alcohol consumption and heart disease, meaning that the greatest benefits appear with a small amount of alcohol.
Recent research has shown that modest alcohol consumption beneficially affects several established risk factors for heart disease, including insulin resistance, inflammation, and blood lipids. This is especially relevant for people with type 2 diabetes, as the disease itself is a major risk factor for heart disease and strongly associated with the other heart disease risk factors mentioned above.
Study Deep Dives #15, Volume 2, “Wine and dine with diabetes” discussed a two-year randomized controlled trial investigating the effects of wine consumption on glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and blood lipids in people with type 2 diabetes. The study reported moderate benefits on all parameters depending on the type of wine (red vs. white) and genetic factors.
The study under review is a second publication of the same cohort of participants with diabetes. This time, the researchers report on how drinking wine affects the development of atherosclerosis using ultrasound. Specifically, the researchers used a three-dimensional ultrasound of the carotid artery, which can provide a sensitive and non-invasive measurement of arterial plaque volume.
Some evidence suggests that modest alcohol consumption benefits cardiovascular health by affecting several known risk factors. A previous Study Deep Dives article discussed a randomized controlled trial reporting benefits for insulin sensitivity and blood lipids in a cohort of participants with type 2 diabetes after drinking wine for two years. The study under review is a second publication on this cohort, this time reporting on the extent of atherosclerosis assessed through ultrasound imaging.
Other Articles in Issue #42 (April 2018)
Interview: Danny Lennon, MSc
We chat with the founder of Sigma Nutrition and combat sports nutritionist Danny Lennon about his background, the unique nutritional challenges faced by combat sports athletes, and two things he thinks everyone can do to improve their lives.
Alpha-lipoic acid for carpal tunnel syndrome
Previous human studies examining ALA have either given it along with other supplements or only administered it post-surgery. This trial looks at ALA's effects on its own, both before and after surgery.
Throwdown, round 3: plant vs. animal protein for bone health
We've previously covered plant vs. animal protein's effects on the metabolic syndrome and diabetes, and both rounds have ended in a draw for main outcomes. Will either come out on top this round?
Protein gains: not just for the men
Women are underrepresented in many areas of research. This study focuses specifically on female physique athletes to see how high vs. low protein intake affects fat-free mass.
Can whole grains improve insulin resistance in obese adults?
What impact does replacing refined grains with whole grains in a macronutrient-matched diet have on weight loss and glucose regulation? This study aims to find out.
A fishy relationship between omega-3 fatty acids and heart health
We review a recent major meta-analysis which examined only large and long clinical trials to find out whether omega-3’s really affect CVD risk.
Interview: Michael Crosier, PhD
In this interview, we chat with Dr. Crosier about the ins and outs of learning and teaching nutrition and dietetics, his research on vitamin K, and more.