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    A glass a day may keep the doctor away: Stock up on booze to ward off dementia

    Synopsis

    Eight alcoholic drinks a week for women and 15 for men can help reduce the rate of cognitive decline.

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    The study showed that those who drank a smaller amount of alcohol each week also benefited.
    A glass a day may keep the doctor away if a new study is to be believed. Scientists analysed data from 19,887 people on their health and economic status from the US Health and Retirement Study and found that a daily tipple could help middle-aged and elderly people stave off dementia and maintain brain power.

    The study showed that eight alcoholic drinks a week for women and 15 for men can help reduce the rate of cognitive decline, which can improve mental health, word recollection and vocabulary. And even if you’re not a big drinker, a little can go a long way as the study showed that those who drank a smaller amount of alcohol each week also benefited.

    Keep it moderate
    When the scores of the 6,010 low-to-moderate drinkers were compared to those of never-drinkers, scientists found the former was 'significantly less likely' to be suffering from declines in the four factors than the latter.

    ‘The mechanisms underlying the beneficial association of low to moderate alcohol consumption with cognitive function are unclear,' said lead author Dr Li Changwei, from the University of Georgia, US.

    “Several studies have found that low to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with better cardiovascular functions, fewer cardiac events, and longer survival compared with abstainers and heavy drinkers,” he added. The study also included 11,943 women, about 60 per cent of the total sample, although there were no clear differences identified between the genders. Participants had a mean age of 61 years.

    However, a recent study found that alcohol consumption increases the risk of hypertension and stroke regardless of dose.

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