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Editor's Correspondence
March 8, 2004

Anti-Inflammatory Action of Alcohol and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Arch Intern Med. 2004;164(5):570-571. doi:10.1001/archinte.164.5.572-a

Dr Wannamethee and colleagues1 found that light to moderate alcohol consumption was inversely associated with risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus among younger women. However, among the plausible explanations of this beneficial effect, they did not mention the anti-inflammatory action of alcohol.

Moderate alcohol consumption has been documented to be associated with lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a sensitive marker of systemic inflammation, independent of ethanol-related effects on lipids.2 Furthermore, several prospective studies have shown that CRP levels additionally predict incident type 2 diabetes mellitus in men and women,3-5 supporting a possible role for inflammation for diabetogenesis. Therefore, an anti-inflammatory action of alcohol may help explain the link between light to moderate alcohol consumption and lower risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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