Your health and dementia in relation to alcohol

Published 11:52 am Wednesday, March 27, 2013

We all know the quality of our lives, particularly as we get older, depends a great deal upon our health.

We’ve heard for years now that red wine is good for our health, and frankly, alcohol in any form when consumed in moderation appears to have a protective effect upon our bodies. We’ve also heard that alcohol has an effect on memory, but the effect depends on the amount consumed. Heavy alcohol consumption takes a toll on memory function.

But how much is too much? The latest research coming out of prestigious universities, like John’s Hopkins, and studies published studies in both the Journal of the American Medical Association and Epidemiology, are reporting both the positive and negative effects of varying levels of alcohol consumption.

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Let’s talk about binge drinking for a moment. The study reported in Epidemiology, indicates that midlife binge drinking triples the risk of developing dementia later in one’s life.  They define binge drinking as consuming more than five bottles of beer or one bottle of wine on a single occasion, at least once per month. Those writers who may have consumed enough alcohol to blackout at least twice in a single year, the risk of dementia was 10 times higher than that of those who drink in moderation.

On the positive side of alcohol consumption, the research study in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that people who drank one to six alcoholic beverages per week had a 54 percent lower risk of dementia in people who never drank it all.