Moderate drinking may protect against Alzheimer's and cognitive impairment

August 19, 2011

Science Daily/Loyola University Health System

Moderate social drinking may significantly reduce the risk of dementia and cognitive impairment, suggests a new analysis of 143 studies.

 

Wine was more beneficial than beer or spirits. But this finding was based on a relatively small number of studies, because most papers did not distinguish among different types of alcohol.

 

Heavy drinking (more than 3 to 5 drinks per day) was associated with a higher risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, but this finding was not statistically significant. "We don't recommend that nondrinkers start drinking," Neafsey said. "But moderate drinking -- if it is truly moderate -- can be beneficial." Moderate drinking is defined as a maximum of two drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women.

 

The researchers note that there are other things besides moderate drinking that can reduce the risk of dementia, including exercise, education and a Mediterranean diet high in fruits, vegetables, cereals, beans, nuts and seeds. Even gardening has been shown to reduce the risk of dementia.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110816112134.htm

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