• Alzheimer's disease (AD) is on the rise among Americans
  • Per a new study, moderate drinking reduces your risk of Alzheimer's disease
  • This is the first-ever study to demonstrate the link between moderate drinking and AD

With over 5.5 million of all ages diagnosed, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease are on the rise in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A new study reported that consuming moderate levels of alcohol is linked to a reduction in Alzheimer's disease risk. According to the results, moderate drinking significantly reduced the levels of beta-amyloid- the protein that is responsible for plaque formation in Alzheimer’s disease patients.

Whether alcohol intake had harmful or protective effects pertaining to the risk of dementia or cognitive decline had long been debated upon. Although several studies have pointed to excessive alcohol intake linked to an increased risk of dementia and cognitive decline, an emerging body of literature has indicated that moderate drinking might be protective against these two conditions.

The research team from Korea who studied 414 participants with an average age 71, conducted physical exams, PET and MRI scans and tests of mental acuity. They were also carefully interviewed about their drinking habits. Since alcohol intake might be influenced by other conditions, the participants were evaluated systematically about potential confounders including body mass index (BMI), depression, vascular risk, annual income, and occupational complexity.

The findings suggested that individuals who consumed one to 13 standard drinks had 66% reduced rates of beta-amyloid deposits in their brains and had lower Alzheimer's disease risk compared to the abstainers.

“The present findings from middle- and old-aged individuals with neither dementia nor alcohol-related disorders suggest that moderate lifetime alcohol intake may have some beneficial influence on AD by reducing pathological amyloid deposition rather than amyloid-independent neurodegeneration or cerebrovascular injury,” concluded the study published in PLOS Medicine.

"In people without dementia and without alcohol abuse or dependency, moderate drinking appears to be helpful as far as brain health is concerned,” the New York Times quoted the study’s lead investigator Dr. Dong Young Lee, the senior author and a professor of psychiatry at Seoul National University College of Medicine.

The findings of the study were applicable only to those who consumed alcohol moderately for at least several decades. The findings highlighted the fact that there was no reduction in Alzheimer's disease risk among those who had recently begun drinking moderately. This is the first-ever study to demonstrate the association between moderate alcohol intake and amyloid plaque accumulation in the living human brain.

drinking beer good for health
drinking beer good for health Mabel Amber - Pixabay