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Moderate Drinking Reduces Dementia Risk

Moderate Drinking Reduces Dementia Risk

CHICAGO — Moderate drinking — no more than two drinks a day for men and one for women — reduces risk of dementia and cognitive impairment, U.S. researchers say.

Edward J. Neafsey and Michael A. Collins, professors in the department of molecular pharmacology and therapeutics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, analyzed 143 studies dating from 1977 that involved more than 365,000 study participants.

The study, published in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, finds moderate drinkers were 23 percent less likely to develop cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Wine was more beneficial than beer or spirits, but most papers did not distinguish among different types of alcohol.

Heavy drinking — more than three to five drinks per day — was associated with a higher risk of cognitive impairment and dementia, but this finding was not statistically significant, the study says.

“We don’t recommend that non-drinkers start drinking,” Neafsey said in a statement. “But moderate drinking — if it is truly moderate — can be beneficial.”

The study found the protective effect of moderate drinking held up after adjusting for age, education, sex and smoking. There was no difference in the effects of alcohol on men and women and the beneficial effect of moderate drinking was seen in 14 of 19 countries, including the United States.

Researchers found a benefit in three of the remaining five countries but it was not statistically significant.

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  • Bob

    I’m sober for 26 years. If I could have 2 glasses of wine, I would! But I can’t stop at 2 or 3 or 10 or 20… I’ll take my chances with dementia!

    • eddie47d

      I started down to the wine cellar and ended up in the garage. Then I realized we don’t have a wine cellar.

      • USAF VET

        Sober for a little over 14 years and I wouldn’t trust myself to even try to limit myself to one or two drinks. Besides that it would ruin my record,and I would be dishonering my late wife who I promised never to dring alcholic beverages ever again.

        I never trust these studies because it is a medical fact that alcohol kills brain cells. How can killing brain cells slow down the effects of Alzhimers when the disese itself is doing just that? Too may studies contradict themselves.

    • ONTIME

      Use grape seed extract or reservatol, it’s all packaged up and you won’t get pulled over by the cops…

  • dan

    Good on you ,Bub. Fortunately I can imbibe in moderation which is a great comfort in these stess-filled times…not to mention that it eases the aches and pains that came from an active life.Unlike the pharmacists little concoctions,Scotch and Bourbon have an unlimited shelf life and no expiration date…and won’t get you thrown in prison like certain natural medicinal herbs.I believe ,as Ben Franklin ,
    that beer is proof that God loves us…..and Vodka in grape juice
    makes for a great tasting “wine”.

    • pinkgin

      Although I like a glass of wine on occasion, I would say without doubt that a glass of the Black Stuff from Dublin each day helps my better half’s Dementia and my ability to cope with it.

      • coal miner


        Moderate Drinking Cuts Risk of Alzheimer’s, Study Shows

        Published August 19, 2011

        Reuters Report:

        Light to moderate social drinking, a glass or two of wine or beer a day, can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to American researchers.

        After analyzing more than 140 studies dating back to 1977 and involving more than 365,000 people, scientists at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine found that moderate drinkers were 23 percent less likely to develop forms of dementia and cognitive impairment.
        Moderate drinking is defined as a maximum of two drinks per day for men and one drink for women.

        “It is well accepted that a glass of wine is good for your heart and reduces coronary artery and cardiovascular diseases,” said Edward J. Neafsey, a co-author of the study.

        The findings show the moderate alcohol consumption has same effect on the brain.

        Wine was more beneficial than beer or spirits, according to the findings published in the journal Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment. But the researchers said most studies in the analysis did not distinguish between the different types of alcohol.

        But heavy drinking, three to five drinks a day, was associated with a higher risk of dementia.
        Both Neafsey and his co-author Michael A. Collins, professors of molecular pharmacology and therapeutics, suggest that small amounts of alcohol stress and toughen brain cells and enables them to better cope with the stresses that lead to dementia at a later date.

        “It causes a mild stress ahead of a serious stress which then protects the tissues and the cells,” Neafsey explained.

        Another theory suggests that the well-known cardiovascular benefits of moderate drinking can also improve blood flow to the brain increasing the brain metabolism.

        Neafsey does not recommend non-drinkers to suddenly start drinking, and for people who do drink to enjoy their alcohol in moderation. Exercise, education and a Mediterranean diet can also reduce the risks of developing dementia.

        “The key words here are light to moderate drinking,” he said. “The enjoyment of a good meal with friends and glass of wine is a traditional human pleasure that most people enjoy.”

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        • coal miner

          Another health alternative

          Not changing the subject: Try Dandelions

          Paesanos eat dandelions , make brew from the roots, and are healthy, often living to over 100 years.” He states that he began eating dandelion salad every day, …


    Every thing in moderation….still a good rule to live by.

    • RightGunner

      Moderation in everything, including moderation.

  • exbobbie

    As a life time non drinker, two drinks would probably give me dementia, hell I can sniff a wine cork and get the urge to swing on the chandelier.


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