Drinking and Dementia

If your New Year’s resolution is to stop drinking, you may want to reconsider.

We’ve all heard studies about the effects of alcohol — this latest one analyzes 44 of them, many of which focussed on people over the age of 60.

More than half of the studies found benefits to sipping a regular glass of wine, beer, or spirits. Only a handful of them made negative links. The researchers from Loyola University Chicago’s school of medicine concluded that moderate drinking may benefit not only the heart but the brain as well. They found that people who have one to two  drinks a day had a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia than their teetotalling peers.

No one knows exactly why. According to one theory, the way alcohol causes muscles and the blood stream to relax can protect against small strokes, which often lead to dementia.

Of course, there is a fine line between the good things alcohol can do for your brain and the severe damage it can cause. So they key word is moderation.

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