Can beer cause diabetes?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can beer cause diabetes?” and will discuss how the amount of alcohol influences diabetes risk and what are the risks and benefits of consuming beer. 

Can beer cause diabetes?

Yes, beer can cause diabetes, in the case of a high intake. According to studies, the ingestion of more than 5 drinks, 3–7 days in the week may significantly increase the risks of developing diabetes in young adulthood.

That is, diabetes can occur due to beer consumption for heavy beer drinkers (1,2).

However, studies show that light and moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages, that is, the ingestion of an amount of 15–29 g of alcohol per day, that is, about 5 drinks in a week, can reduce the risks of developing diabetes, independent of the alcoholic drink.

In addition, the ingestion of alcohol in moderate amounts by diabetic patients can reduce the incidence of heart diseases (3).

Can alcohol-free beer cause diabetes?

Alcohol-free beer does not cause diabetes. According to studies, the consumption of alcohol-free beer by pre-diabetics and diabetic individuals resulted in the reduction of the glycemia.

However, there were gastrointestinal complaints due to the residual carbohydrate present in the beverage (6).

Alcohol-beer has been considered a healthy beverage, due to the amount of antioxidants (polyphenols), which are related to the prevention of diseases, including heart diseases, and vitamins. 

Can beer prevent diabetes?

Yes, the moderate consumption of beer may prevent diabetes and other diseases, such as hypertension and heart disease. Some factor collaborate for the property of beer to prevent diabetes (1,2,4):

Beer contains alcohol. The ingestion of moderate amounts of alcohol (15–29 g of alcohol per day) is related to a decreased risk of developing diabetes. Beer contains on average 4-5% of alcohol in the volume. One beer of 330 ml contains about 13 g -15 g of alcohol.

Beer contains polyphenols. According to studies, polyphenols have a protective effect against diabetes, heart diseases and inflammatory diseases, due to the antioxidant properties of these compounds. 

A regular beer (330 ml) contains about 22 mg of polyphenols. The effect of beer on preventing diseases is comparable to wine and superior to spirit, especially due to the presence of polyphenols.

Does beer have other benefits?

Beer has other health benefits, when consumed in moderate amounts, including (4,5):

  • Beer contains important minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium
  • Beer contains vitamin C, folate, niacin and vitamin B12
  • The consumption of beer is related to lower risks of certain diseases, including diabetes, and heart disease
  • The ingestion of alcohol can, according to studies, protect from against Helicobacter pylori infections

What are the risks of overconsumption of beer?

The risks of overconsumption of beer or overconsumption of other alcoholic diseases are, in addition to improving the risks of developing diabetes, the following (1,2,3,4,5):

  • Higher risks of having liver cirrhosis
  • Higher risks of breast cancer and colon, pharynx, esophagus and larynx and liver cancers
  • Higher risks of chronic pancreatitis
  • Development of insulin resistance
  • Hypertension, especially by heavy drinkers
  • Higher risk of brain degeneration and neurodegenerative diseases
  • Death caused by accidents 

Other FAQs about Beer  that you may be interested in.

How is beer carbonated?

Can you drink old beer?

What is the best way to drink beer?


In this article, we answered the question “Can beer cause diabetes?” and will discussed how the amount of alcohol influences diabetes risk and what are the risks and benefits of consuming beer


  1. Conigrave, Katherine M., et al. A prospective study of drinking patterns in relation to risk of type 2 diabetes among men. Diabetes, 2001, 50, 2390-2395. 
  2. Polsky, Sarit, and Halis K. Akturk. Alcohol consumption, diabetes risk, and cardiovascular disease within diabetes. Curr diab rep, 2017, 17, 1-12. 
  3. Howard, Andrea A., Julia H. Arnsten, and Marc N. Gourevitch. Effect of alcohol consumption on diabetes mellitus: a systematic review. Ann int med, 2004, 140, 211-219. 
  4. De Gaetano, Giovanni, et al. Effects of moderate beer consumption on health and disease: A consensus document. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis, 2016, 26, 443-467. 
  5. Bamforth, Charles W. Nutritional aspects of beer—a review. Nutr res, 2002, 22, 227-237. 
  6. Mellor, D.D.; Hanna-Khalil, B.; Carson, R. A Review of the Potential Health Benefits of Low Alcohol and Alcohol-Free Beer: Effects of Ingredients and Craft Brewing Processes on Potentially Bioactive Metabolites. Beverages, 2020, 6, 25. 

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