Adding to the literature on the potential health benefits of alcohol is a new study suggesting that drinking may improve insulin sensitivity. While this was a small-animal study, the results are interesting.

After studying mice that were fed either water or ethanol, researchers found that alcohol consumption improved insulin sensitivity compared with the control group.

Reporting in the March 22 issue of Nutrition Journal, the researchers concluded that “our data provide evidence that alcohol consumption increased insulin sensitivity” in mice and may be a protective factor against insulin resistance. The researchers also said they had identified potential gene targets that may contribute to this protective effect.