Moderate Alcohol, Less Dementia
igoddard at erols.mom
Sat Jan 26 22:17:33 EST 2002
Moderate Drinking Cuts Dementia Risk - Study
LONDON (Reuters) - Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol
can help lower the chances of developing dementia, Dutch
scientists said on Friday.
Whether it is wine, beer or whisky, people over 55 who
enjoy a daily tipple are less likely to suffer from
Alzheimer's or other types of senility than those who
"We found that, in this population of individuals aged
55 years or older, those who consumed up to three glasses
of alcohol per day had a lower risk of dementia...than
those who never drank alcohol," Dr. Monique Breteler, an
epidemiologist at Erasmus University Medical School in
In a study of 8,000 people published in The Lancet
medical journal, Breteler and her colleagues reported
light-to-moderate drinking cut the risk of dementia by
42 percent and of vascular dementia, another form of
senility, by 70 percent.
The scientists believe moderate amounts of alcohol may
reduce the risk of dementia by releasing acetylcholine,
a brain protein that helps to transmit messages between
brain cells that control functions such as memory,
attention and addiction.
But they noted too much alcohol inhibited its production.
Studies have also shown that small amounts of alcohol
can increase high density lipoprotein, or good
cholesterol, that reduces plaque in the arteries.
Breteler believes vascular factors are involved in the
development of Alzheimer's and that moderate amounts
of alcohol may reduce the risk of dementia in a similar
method to the way it cuts the risk of heart disease.
"Our findings lend further support to the vascular
hypothesis of dementia," she said.
"To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals." Ben Franklin
More information about the Neur-sci