Is Binge Drinking A Cause Of Type 2 Diabetes?

New research carried out by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, in their Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Institute has revealed a very important link between binge drinking and the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the study looked at the link between excessive consumption of alcohol and insulin resistance. It was found that binge drinking led directly to a problem with insulin resistance, and this in turn led to type 2 diabetes. Carried out on rats, the researchers conducted the study which they said now proves for the first time that binge drinking on its own (even without any additional factors such as excess body weight) decreases a person’s wellbeing and increases their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

It has long been thought that those with a history of drinking to excess are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, but until this study was carried out, medics were unclear about why exactly this was the case, and if the factor could be isolated from other risk factors.

During the study, researchers found that alcohol disrupted the insulin-receptor signalling process in the body, and this then led to inflammation of the hypothalamus in the brain. This is responsible for many processes in the body, including metabolic processes.

Decrease in the efficacy of the insulin receptors meant that the cells did not take up glucose and this led directly to too much glucose being present in the blood, as occurs in type 2 diabetes.

In these cases, although the pancreas is making enough insulin to keep the body’s glucose levels in control, the insulin is unable to bind to the receptor properly because of the effects of alcohol and the wellness of the person in question was adversely affected.


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