Studies have also shown that social drinking, in moderation, can be beneficial to your heart, which also is healthy for your brain. As long as it’s not impacting you the next day, and it’s not causing problems with your family and relationships a few drinks are not harmful to your health, and can actually help your brain.
Humans are highly social animals. We’re not meant to thrive, let alone thrive, in isolation. Relationships stimulate our brains–in fact, interacting with others may be the best kind of brain exercise. According to Dr. Beverly Beuermann-King, people usually like to socialize, and often they drink at social events. Moderate drinkers may have better health. Connecting with other people helps us to de-stress, and this is great for our brain health.
Research shows that having meaningful relationships and a strong support system are vital not only to emotional health, but brain health. In one recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health, for example, researchers found that people with the most active social lives had the slowest rate of memory decline. Of course alcohol is not necessary for a social event, but when alcohol is present it is not necessarily detrimental.
Researchers have examined the potential benefits of moderate alcohol consumption on the heart and stress, and may actually fight off memory problems and/or Alzheimer’s disease.
A study published in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment reviewed work from 143 studies with 365,000 volunteers from 19 countries. The studies looked at moderate drinking (a maximum of one drink daily) for women and two drinks for men. A standard drink is defined as 1.5 ounces of spirits, 5 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer.
They found that moderate drinkers in 14 of the 19 countries (including the U.S.) were found to be 23% less likely to develop signs of memory problems or Alzheimer’s disease. “This study is not the final word, but it does provide the most complete picture out there,” says study researcher Michael A. Collins, PhD, of the department of molecular pharmacology and therapeutics at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Ill.
“Low levels of alcohol may have anti-inflammatory effects on the immune system, heart, and brain,” says Collins. Alcohol is known to lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of inflammation. Inflammation in the brain is believed to play a big role in Alzheimer’s disease. Inflammation has also been implicated in heart disease, stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and even some cancers.
Exactly how alcohol lowers the inflammation is not yet known. The buzz word is neuro-inflammation, and alcohol, in moderate amounts, may suppress neuro-inflammation, but higher levels of alcohol may stimulate it, Collins says.
The emphasis in this study is MODERATION. As with other abuse, over consumption of alcohol has serious effect on health.
About the author:
Ron White is a two-time U.S.A. Memory Champion. As a memory keynote speaker he travels the world to speak before large groups or small company seminars, demonstrating his memory skills and teaching others how to improve their memory, and how important a good memory is in all phases of your life. His CDs and memory products are also available online at BrainAthlete.com.
Helpline.org — How To Improve Your Memory: http://www.helpguide.org/life/improving_memory.htm
WebMd – Moderate Alcohol Drinking May Cut Alzheimer’s Risk: http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/news/20110817/moderate-alcohol-drinking-may-cut-alzheimers-risk