It’s been a good year for drinkers. Uh, scientifically speaking that is.
In October, diligent testing was done which led to discovering people with type-2 diabetes who drank a nightly glass of wine with dinner, had healthier cholesterol levels.
Now, a new study published in BMJ Open looked at Alzheimer’s and what effect alcohol would have on patients. And – surprise – moderate alcohol consumption was associated with health benefits, lowering risks of death.
It’s already been proven that moderate drinking (a couple of drinks a day) can reduce risk of death from coronary disease. But alcohol, the killer of brain cells, benefitting the brain positively?
“It came as a surprise,” says the paper’s senior author Frans Boch Waldorff, a professor in the Department of Public Health at University of Southern Denmark. “We thought perhaps if you had a brain disease, you would not tolerate alcohol in the way of people without brain disease.”
Even after controlling for factors including age, sex, cognitive functioning, quality of life, smoking and education, the researchers found that consumption of roughly 2-3 drinks per day was associated with a 77% lower risk of dying over the three-year study period, compared to those who drank one or fewer drinks per day.
The decrease in mortality is significant enough to prompt further research. Since the study wasn’t to determine cause, it’s arguable more questions have been raised about the effects of alcohol. In future studies, Waldorff wants to look at whether alcohol consumption is also associated with happiness in the last period of life, or if alcohol influences cognitive decline.