I was reading about some of the effects of alcohol on the body, and ran across the studies below. While I am not advocating alcohol consumption, this was the first time I had read anything of this nature concerning alcohol consumption.
: Med Hypotheses. 2001 Sep;57(3):405-7.
Does regular ethanol consumption promote insulin sensitivity and leanness by stimulating AMP-activated protein kinase?
Pantox Laboratories, San Diego, California 92109, USA.
There is good reason to believe that regular moderate alcohol consumption promotes insulin sensitivity of skeletal muscle; conceivably, this benefits the protective effects of moderate drinking on vascular health and risk for obesity and diabetes. The mechanism responsible for alcohol's insulin-sensitizing activity remains obscure. As a working hypothesis, it is proposed that metabolism of acetate in peripheral tissues generates sufficient levels of AMP to temporarily stimulate the AMP-activated protein kinase, which in turn induces the synthesis of certain long-lived proteins that act to boost insulin sensitivity and possibly aid the efficiency of fat oxidation as well. Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.
Med Hypotheses. 2000 May;54(5):794-7.
The insulin-sensitizing activity of moderate alcohol consumption may promote leanness in women.
Pantox Laboratories, San Diego, USA.
Cross-sectional epidemiology reveals that women who drink alcohol regularly and moderately, on average, tend to have a decidedly lower body-mass index (BMI) than non-drinking women, despite slightly higher caloric intakes. In men, moderate drinkers are no heavier than non-drinkers, yet they consume considerably more calories. The thermogenic effect which this implies is not explained by the modest acute thermic effect of ethanol ingestion. However, there is indirect evidence that regular alcohol consumption has an insulin-sensitizing effect on skeletal muscle that down-regulates insulin secretion. Decreased insulin activity on adipocytes and the liver may discourage fat storage and promote hepatic mechanisms of ketogenesis, gluconeogenesis, and associated thermogenesis, thus possibly accounting for the relative leanness of female drinkers. The possibility that prescribing moderate alcohol intake could aid weight control in non-drinking overweight females should receive clinical evaluation. The impact of moderate drinking on risk for diabetes in women appears to be quite dramatic. Copyright 2000 Harcourt Publishers. Ltd.