U.S. researchers say that moderate drinking may be linked to reducing risks of dementia. Edward J. Neafsey and Michael A. Collins, professors in the department of molecular pharmacology and therapeutics at Loyola University in Chicago, say that men that have no more than two drinks a day and women having only one drink a day may be less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive impairment or other dementia forms.
Researchers say that they analyzed 143 studies dating back four decades and involved more than 365,000 participants to back their findings.
They say those that are moderate drinkers had a 23% less chance to develop forms of dementia, and they say that wine is more beneficial than beer or other alcoholic beverages.
However, the researchers say don’t drink too much — those that have more than three to five drinks a day were said to have higher risk of cognitive impairment or dementia. The study adds that the finding is not statistically significant, but is rather typical of their findings.
They also note that doesn’t necessarily mean that non-drinkers need to start drinking, but is rather a beneficial boost to those that already do.
“We don’t recommend that non-drinkers start drinking,” Neafsey said. “But moderate drinking — if it is truly moderate — can be beneficial.”
The effects of moderate alcohol drinking and its benefits were found in 14 of 19 countries, including the U.S. They added, however, that three of the remaining five countries also had benefits, but the results were not enough to be significant.
As to why alcohol by be beneficial, researchers believe that it is due to the cardiovascular benefits of moderate consumption, such as raising HDL cholesterol, which has been linked to improving blood flow to the brain.