Alcohol damage in pregnancy is now more than known, yet it is often underestimated. Many women are in fact convinced that a glass of wine on special occasions - a toast, a dinner with friends - is all in all safe. This is not the case, and research published in the Journal of Physiology proves it. The consumption of small quantities of alcohol during pregnancy is enough to increase the risk of resistance to insulin in the fetus. As a result, the child is more likely to develop diabetes, especially if it is male.
The scientists tested this on groups of pregnant guinea pigs, giving them small amounts of alcohol. Many of the children exposed to these minimum levels have started to become diabetic at around 6 months of age. Exactly how much alcohol is talked about? Pregnant guinea pigs have reached a maximum percentage of 0.05% of alcohol in the blood. That was enough to raise the insulin levels of the little ones, even in normal living conditions and which did not contribute to the phenomenon. This happened almost exclusively in small males.
The phenomenon seems to specifically affect the male gender, it is not yet known why. It may be that the placenta of male fetuses adapts differently, affecting fetal development. Or it could be the fault of the hormones: estrogens could protect females from insulin resistance. Males, who have far fewer estrogens, would be more vulnerable. However, this deserves some more research.