One alcoholic drink a day could reduce your risk of dementia by 21%
Alzheimers Research UK explain 'what is dementia?'
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Dementia is not a direct result of ageing which means there are ways to modify your risk. A healthy diet is one of the greatest weapons you can add to your arsenal of protection but alcoholic drinks might also have some tricks up their sleeves. A new study has found a surprising link between mild to moderate alcohol consumption and a lower risk of dementia.
Whether it’s a cold glass of G&T or a pint of beer, Britons like to enjoy an alcoholic beverage from time to time.
However, research has been stressing that alcohol spells no good news for your health and especially your brain.
While the popular drink has been labelled one of the major risk factors for any dementia type, those who opt for an occasional tipple may be onto something.
New research, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, found those who had one drink a day had a 21 percent lower risk of dementia, compared to non-drinkers.
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However, this surprising study still agreed that consuming alcohol in higher amounts increases the risk of the mind-robbing condition.
Dr Keun Hye, who led the study, told CNN: “We found that maintaining mild to moderate alcohol consumption as well as reducing alcohol consumption from a heavy to moderate level were associated with a decreased risk of dementia.”
The researchers suggested the conflicting drink could stave off the brain condition because it reduces inflammation in the brain and blood thickness, allowing your blood to flow better.
But the researchers could not conclusively prove that alcohol was behind the lower risk of dementia, the study merely found a correlation.
There might be other factors at play, ranging from diet to genetics.
The research team looked at health data from almost four million people included in the Korean National Health Insurance Service database.
Adults aged 40 years and older completed a health assessment between 2009 and 2011, where they detailed how many days a week they drank alcohol and in what quantity.
They also returned in 2018 to answer the same questions on their drinking habits.
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Based on their alcohol consumption, participants were split into four groups: non-drinkers, mild drinkers (less than 15 grams (g) of alcohol a day, or about one drink), moderate drinkers (15 to 30g of alcohol), and heavy drinkers (more than 30g daily).
During the follow-up, the researchers detected 100,282 cases of various dementia types.
Interestingly, mild and moderate drinking were associated with a lower risk of the mind-robbing condition.
However, heavy drinking increased the risk of all-cause dementia instead.
Furthermore, the authors added that the downsides of alcohol outweigh any small benefits.
Drinking alcohol in excess is a huge risk factor for the development of Alzheimer’s disease as well as other dementia types, according to Alzheimer’s Society.
Heavy drinking speeds up the shrinkage of the brain’s white matter, leading to cognitive issues.
The NHS recommends avoiding regularly drinking more than 14 units a week to keep health risks from alcohol to a low level.
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