The latest study to explore the benefits of alcohol consumption looks at how it can affect the brain.
The study uncovered that moderate amounts of alcohol may protect the brain from dementia, and it does this by improving the brains waste removal system.
The cells in the brain produce waste that needs to be removed. In mice models, low amounts of alcohol were found to improve the waste-removal system, but high amounts of alcohol hinder this systems performance.
Low levels of alcohol consumption were defined as two ounces a day.
In a human study conducted by British researchers, they uncovered that those who abstained from consuming alcohol had a higher risk of dementia along with heavy consumption of alcohol.
The study followed over 9,000 Brits for over two decades.
Moderate drinking was defined as 14 units of alcohol a week. A unit of alcohol can be anything from one medium glass of wine or a pint of beer.
Non-drinkers were found to have a 47 percent higher risk of dementia compared to moderate drinkers. But heavy drinkers also had a higher risk of dementia.
It’s important to note that the study did not prove cause and effect or suggest that you should consume moderate amounts of alcohol as a means of protecting your memory. It’s not fully clear how or why abstaining from alcohol completely increases dementia risk. For example, there can be underlying factors that prevent a person from drinking but increase dementia risk.
Even after trying to account for lifestyle factors, there are still many unknowns about the relationship between alcohol and dementia.
Ideally, it’s important that you adhere to healthy lifestyle factors as much as possible to reduce your risk of dementia.