Effect of alcoholic beverages on postprandial glycemia and insulinemia in lean, young, healthy adults

Jennie C. Brand-Miller*, Kaniz Fatima, Christopher Middlemiss, Marian Bare, Vicki Liu, Fiona Atkinson, Peter Petocz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Ethanol's ability to inhibit gluconeogenesis might reduce postprandial glycemia in realistic meal settings. Objective: The objective was to explore the effect of 3 types of alcoholic beverages consumed alone, with a meal, or 1 h before a meal on postprandial glycemia in healthy subjects. Design: In study 1, isoenergetic (1000 kJ) servings of beer, white wine, and gin were compared with a 1000-kJ portion of white bread. In study 2, the same servings were compared with water as an accompaniment to a bread meal. In study 3, 20-g alcohol portions were served as a premeal drink. Fingertip capillary blood samples were taken at regular intervals over 2-3 h. Results: In study 1, the mean (±SE) glucose scores for beer (58 ± 11), wine (7 ± 3), and gin (10 ± 5) were significantly lower (P < 0.001) than those for bread (= 100). In study 2, meals consumed with beer (84 ± 11; P = 0.03), wine (63 ± 6; P < 0.001), and gin (80 ± 12; P = 0.007) produced less glycemia than did the meal consumed with water (= 100). In study 3, all 3 beverages reduced the postprandial glycemic response to the subsequent meal (67 ± 5, 75 ± 6, and 78 ± 4 with the beer, wine, and gin trials, respectively; P < 0.003). Conclusion: In realistic settings, alcoholic beverage consumption lowers postprandial glycemia by 16-37%, which represents an unrecognized mechanism by which alcohol may reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1545-1551
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


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