Date of Award

6-2013

Degree Name

MS in Agriculture - Food Science and Nutrition

Department

Food Science and Nutrition

Advisor

Aydin Nazmi

Abstract

Current research shows moderate alcohol consumption is associated with decreased risk of diabetes and excessive consumption or binge drinking can cause insulin resistance and diabetes. In 2010, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United Statesand was responsible for significant health complications: blindness, kidney failure, and limb amputations, and is a large national economic burden. Fasting blood glucose (FBG) is a tool used to help diagnose diabetes. Abnormally high FBG, ≥100 mg/dl, is indicative of diabetes and pre-diabetes. Few studies have observed diabetic prevalence among young adults or college students. Studying young adults can help provide added information about early risk factors for diabetes and pre-diabetes, facilitating public health efforts to stem the rising tide of the diabetes epidemic. This study aimed to research the associations between alcohol consumption (numbers of days alcohol consumed in the past month and binge alcohol consumption in the past month) and FBG in a college population as part of the FLASH cohort study. FBG levels were measured in 141 young adult participants and alcohol consumption was determined by self report. Other individual-level characteristics and potential confounding variables were also collected. The association between alcohol consumption and FBG followed a J-shaped curve whereby students who reported drinking 6-8 days within the last 30 days showed significantly lower FBG levels than those who did not drink and those who consumed alcohol on nine or more days (p=0.04). Binge drinking did not have a significant association with FBG (p=0.4). Sex and body mass index were also significantly associated with FBG. In conclusion, moderate frequency of alcohol consumption is found to have an inverse relationship with FBG and excessive drinking can reverse these effects.