A review of the findings suggests older adults who indulge in a daily glass (one if you’re a woman, two if you’re a man) of their favorite alcoholic beverage (wine, beer, or cocktails) are significantly less likely to develop age-related cognitive decline or dementia compared to folks who don’ t drink a
Booze for the Brain
How does imbibing do this
? Researchers think the daily habit may protect against inflammation-inducing proteins in the brain,
including B-amyloid — a toxic protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Other findings suggest th at moder
ate drinking can boost cerebral blood flow by dilating vessels in the brain.
One part of alcohol’s brain-protective equation: It’ s thought that moderate
social drinking may have a cumulative effect over many years in reducing the long-term risk of age-related cognitive decline.
(Related: Have your eyes checked to stave off Alzheimer’s disease.)
Think It Through
A word of caution: Some people are more prone to alcoholism than others, so if the disease runs in your family, or you’ve had a spot or two of binge drinking in the past, consider adopting alternative strategies to keep your noggin’ humming along. A light drinking habit that turns into a heavy one can damage, rather than protect, your brain.