Tolstrup noted the potential protective effect of alcohol seemed to be limited to beer and wine. Although the mechanism is still hazy, researchers suggest higher concentrations of tannins have an inhibiting effect on the action of carbohydrate-reducing enzymes.
Consuming seven glasses of wine weekly lowered the diabetes risk by 25 to 30 percent in both men and women, when compared to those who drank less than one glass per week.
Men who consumed 14 drinks per week were found to have a 43 per cent lower risk of diabetes as compared to those who didn't consume any alcohol.
Adrian Vella of the Mayo Clinic told CBS News that studies that rely on participants' self-reported food and alcohol consumption could be inaccurate, since they may struggle to recall exactly what they ate and drank in the past.
When the researchers looked at alcohol type, they found that different alcohol types were associated with different levels of risk.
Health experts surveyed and said the caution over the findings. The participants had been asked to report their drinking and lifestyle habits from 2007-2008 through 2012. In addition, drinking frequency was assessed: less than 1 day per week; 1-2 days/ week; 3-4 days/ week and 5-7 days/ week. She added that the most important finding of her study is that when it comes to the risk of diabetes, drinking a little bit often - instead of drinking a lot rarely - is best. Beer instead affected gender differently. Information on incident cases of diabetes was obtained from the Danish National Diabetes Register.
Dr. William T. Cefalu, chief scientific, medical and mission officer of the American Diabetes Association, said the new study's strengths include the large number of people surveyed, but its weaknesses include an inability to control for other risk factors such as diet.
During the follow up, 859 men and 887 were found to have developed diabetes.
They study analysed 70,000 participants who gave detail of alcohol consumption.
In men, drinking alcohol three to four days per week was associated with a 27 percent lower risk of diabetes compared with drinking less than one day per week, the researchers found.
The timing of those drinks also mattered.
"However, if you are going to drink, it is important to be alcohol savvy, such as drinking spritzers instead of glasses of wine, bottled beer instead of pints and having several alcohol-free days throughout the week".
One to six beers per week reduced diabetes risk by 21 per cent in men but had no effect on women.
In addition, it's not likely that a lot of people would develop type 2 diabetes during the relatively short follow-up time of five years used in this study, according to Vella.
Overall, those with the lowest risk of developing diabetes were people who drank moderately on a weekly basis, Tolstrup's analysis showed.