Alcohol is good for you, study finds

Alcohol is good for you, study findsHaving two alcoholic drinks a day may slow mental decline and preserve brain function, according to a new study. The research, published in JAMA Network Open, examined the link between alcohol consumption and changes in brain function over time among nearly 20,000 middle-aged and older adults. Researchers from the University of Georgia found that people who enjoyed a regular drink - up to two a day - were a third less likely to have decreased cognitive function compared to tee-totallers. This includes learning, thinking, reasoning, remembering, problem solving, decision making and attention. On average, they had 29 per cent less chance to have a lower mental capacity compared to people who never drink. The author’s found the optimal intake was ten to 14 drinks per week, but said the findings do not mean those who drink less should increase their intake. Moderate drinking has previously been found to increase a protein known as the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which helps the brain to develop new cells and strengthen existing ones. The effects of low to moderate alcohol consumption has also been highlighted in previous studies for protecting the brain from dementia or Alzheimer’s. The latest research adds to the idea that drinking small amounts can be beneficial to cognitive health.

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