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Wine Prevents Mental Decline in Alzheimer’s

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By Deborah Cooper • • August 10, 2000

A drink a day may help prevent mental decline according to a new study. This is the second study in the last two months to describe wine-drinking’s preventative benefits for Alzheimer’s.

Last month, scientists at the Boston University of Medicine concluded that moderate consumption of alcohol offers some protection against developing AD. Now this new study, published in the August issue of the American Journal of Public Health, lends further weight to the previous findings.

The study followed the drinking habits of 3,500 Japanese-American men aged 71 to 93 over a period of 18 years. After drinking once per day, 40 per cent of the participants scored better on tests of mental ability than those who did not drink. However, those who drank more than four drinks per day were actually 29 per cent more likely to score poorly on the tests.

Dr. Daniel J. Galanis of the Hawaii Department of Public Health said that the way in which alcohol exerts its influence is still unclear. He believes there is probably a link between how alcohol protects heart health and the way it protects the brain. He theorizes that moderate alcohol intake may increase HDL - ‘good’ cholesterol - and help to thin the blood, which would promote good blood circulation to the brain.

Galanis emphasized that those who drank more than a moderate amount of alcohol actually performed worse than those who did not drink. He urged non-drinkers not to begin drinking and cautioned those who do drink not to over-consume.

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