Wine drinking helps thinking

Stop the presses, no forget that, stop the world! Here’s the news; moderate wine drinking is good for you. Oh, you’ve heard that before? Well, there are two things about this new study which add some interesting bite to the good news stories on wine. First is the news that wine drinking helps thinking in the long run and second is one of the reasons why this might be so.

The study looked at more than 5000 people of average age 58 years and followed them over a seven year period. During that time they were given regular tests of cognitive function; that is, their thinking capacity. When the researchers looked at lifestyle factors that affected thinking powers the usual suspects showed up.

People experienced declines in their thinking ability of they smoked, were less educated, were depressed, had diabetes, or had high blood pressure. Then there was the wine factor: people who drank moderately did better on the tests than those who did not drink at all. By “moderately” we mean two glasses of wine four times a week.

There are a range of possibilities as to why moderate wine drinking may be good for thinking. The antioxidant polyphenols in wine may protect blood vessels and even neurons. The alcohol itself in wine may help reduce hardening of the arteries. Wine also keeps the blood thin and reduces inflammation. These are all factors that contribute to wine’s healthy effects but the researchers made another interesting observation.

In making sense of the data that they uncovered the researchers made the point that people who consume moderate amounts of wine may also pursue other lifestyle habits that are healthy. In other words, moderate people engage in moderate behaviours.

It was Mark Twain who said, “All things in moderation, including moderation.” This certainly applies to health in terms of the food you eat and the wine drink although it might be argued that moderation need not be applied to laughter and love. Go forth then good people; eat moderately, drink moderately, and be excessively merry.

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The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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