Moderate Drinking Has Been Linked To Improved Cognitive Function

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Moderate Drinking Has Been Linked To Improved Cognitive Function
Moderate Drinking Has Been Linked To Improved Cognitive Function

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Moderate drinking has been linked to improved cognitive function

We are talking about middle-aged and elderly people. In the context of high alcohol consumption, no such relationship was found. Despite the encouraging news for drinkers, scientists remind that even moderate alcohol consumption can increase the risk of various diseases.

Moderate drinking has been linked to improved cognitive function
Moderate drinking has been linked to improved cognitive function

Photo: CC0 Public Domain

Drinking alcohol in small to moderate amounts has been linked to improved cognitive performance in middle-aged and older people, scientists say. They published their new work in JAMA.

Scientists analyzed information about 20 thousand people who previously participated in a large study of people near retirement age. The participants were followed for about nine years.

It turned out that people who drink little or moderately had significantly better scores on tests assessing cognitive function than non-drinkers. Scientists analyzed the results of tests on the ability to remember words, vocabulary and mental status. When checking the mental status, the work of the psyche of the subject at the moment is assessed: his speech, mood, behavior, perception, and so on.

In what doses can alcohol be consumed without fear of consequences?

Almost everyone knows that drinking alcohol can cause addiction and many diseases. The idea of ​​finding a dose of alcohol that does not lead to serious consequences is very attractive. Is there such a "magic" dose? What do the recommendations mean that "allow" us to drink a certain "displacement" per day or week?

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The scientists called a moderate amount of alcohol consumed up to 8 standard servings of alcohol for women and up to 14 standard servings for men per week. In the US, where the study was conducted, the standard serving is equivalent to 14 grams of pure alcohol.

In people who drank alcohol in large quantities, the researchers found no improvement in cognitive function. Drinking moderate doses of alcohol was also not associated with improved brain function in dark-skinned study participants.

In a press release, Jeremy Koppel, a geriatric psychiatrist and professor at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research who was not involved in the study, recalled that the new data does not reverse the harmful effects of alcohol. He said:

"As the authors note, the benefits of the potential cognitive improvement in middle-aged Americans who drink alcohol must be weighed against the risk of hypertension, stroke, and other illnesses that alcohol can bring."

In this study, scientists do not prove that improved cognitive function is a direct consequence of moderate alcohol consumption. They only show the connection between these phenomena. Also, this scientific work did not address the question of whether moderate drinking can reduce the risk of dementia, diseases, the main manifestation of which is the deterioration of cognitive functions.

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