I want to look after my brainchocolate and red wine

BUT

Can I drink alcohol? Is wine good for the brain?

Here’s the good news from neuroscientists.

 Small intakes of alcohol will protect you against dementia.

How do they know?

Scientists in the UK analysed data from 23 studies looking for any relationship between cognitive decline and memory loss in older adults.

Their surprise finding?

 ‘Low to moderate alcohol use is associated with a 38% reduced risk of dementia, and a 32% reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. [1]

Of course, common sense rules!

Excessive alcohol use leads to reduced reasoning and memory skills.

But you can enjoy one guilt-free glass of red wine and it KNOW it can benefit your brain and memory health. Red wine is good for the brain.

More Evidence:

In one large study (1000+ people over 65) in Pennsylvania [2] were tested at two-year intervals for memory, problem-solving and reasoning skills.

Again, light and moderate drinkers experienced less decline than non-drinkers.

In another large study of 7,485 Australians aged between 20 and 64 years of age the same results were found: People who drank moderately (up to 7 drinks a week for females and up to 14 drinks a week for males) performed better than abstainers on all measures of cognitive abilities. [3]

How can this be?

The antioxidant resveratrol is the secret.

Resveratrol (Mayo Clinic):

  • important in the maintenance of the hippocampus
  • greater connectivity between the neurons
  • helps prevent blood vessel damage
  • reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the bad cholesterol

From the University of Virginia:

The resveratrol in one glass of red wine three or four times a week may be enough to help slow the progression of cancer-feeding proteins, helping to starve certain cancer cells.[4]

What if we don’t drink alcohol?

Don’t worry!

German researchers in a recent study found that using a 200 milligram resveratrol supplement boosted short-term recall and improved concentration.

 More good news!

The compound resveratrol is found in dark chocolate, peanuts and blueberries, too.

Anyone for a glass of pinot noir and chocolate?

 

[1] Peters, R. et al. Alcohol, dementia and cognitive decline in the elderly: a systematic review. Age and ageing, 2008, 37, 505-512.

[2] Ganguli, M., et al. Alcohol consumption and cognitive functions in late life: A longitudinal community study. Neurology, 2005, 65.

[3] Rodgers, B., et al. Non-linear relationships between cognitive function and alcohol consumption in you, middle-aged and older adults: The PATH Through Life Projects. Addiction, 2005, 100(9).

[4] Witte, V.A., Kerti, L., Margulies, D. S., et al. Effects of Resveratrol on memory performance, hippocampal functional connectivity, and glucose metabolism in healthy older adults. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2014.