Drinking Delays Dementia?

June 30, 2011

Could imbibing more often than not, in moderation of course, help to stave off senility and Alzheimer's? A new research report offers significant findings.

Drinking a daily glass of wine or beer may help keep the mind sharp, according to a recent study out of Germany published in the journal of Age and Ageing. Now you have more reasons to imbibe! Researchers followed over 3,200 people over 75, for three years and found that those who moderately drank alcohol were 30 percent less likely to develop dementia and 40 percent less likely to suffer from Alzheimer's than those who didn’t.

The study was conducted through participants’ general practitioners, and participants were free of dementia when the study began; follow up was conducted after 18 months and again three years later. According to the study’s authors, "No significant differences were seen according to the type of alcoholic beverage consumed… overall, these results are similar to previous studies in the elderly and suggest that moderate drinking is associated with less dementia… (other hand,) there is no doubt that long-term alcohol abuse is detrimental to memory function and can cause neurodegenerative disease." 

In the past thirty years, over 70 studies have investigated the association between moderate alcohol intake and cognitive function. Most demonstrated an association between light to moderate alcohol consumption and better cognitive function, and reduced risk of dementia, including vascular dementia and Alzheimer. 

It is advised not to consume alcohol if you do not already, or have other health issues that alcohol consumption may affect. Keep in mind that light to moderate consumption has been studied and demonstrated positive outcomes. Other lifestyle factors may affect health outcomes, so along with moderate to light alcohol consumption it is advised to consume a diet rich in fresh foods including whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish, legumes, and nuts and seeds. 

For some tips on what to drink with your 4th of July barbeque this weekend, check out our BBQ Beer & Food Pairing Guide

Be safe and enjoy!