Moderate Alcohol, Less Dementia

Ian Goddard 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 
don't drink.

"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 
Rotterdam, said.

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



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