Antioxidants — especially those found in alcoholic beverages like beer and wine — may provide significant support for brain health, according to a new study released by researchers from Boston University.
Alcoholic drinks are known to be excellent sources of antioxidants, which are known to neutralize cell-damaging particles in the body. However, little was known about whether the harmful effects of alcohol may outweigh these heart brain benefits.
The team of researchers from the Boston University Medical Center sought to answer these questions. They recruited 5,033 men and women living in Norway to measure the effects of their alcohol consumption. Researchers tracked participants’ alcohol consumption for a period of seven years, administering tests of their cognitive ability throughout.
They found that individuals who consumed modest amounts of alcohol — four or more drinks for each two-week period — scored better on tests of cognitive function than those who drank little alcohol.
The results were particularly strong for women who drink wine. Researchers speculated that the high levels of antioxidants in the drink may be primary cause of this apparent benefit.