A Couple Drinks Daily May Prevent Dementia: Study

Moderate drinkers developed dementia less often than teetotalers
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 13, 2009 5:52 PM CDT
"This study does not give license to drink beyond 1-2 alcoholic beverages a day since excessive consumption is associated with alcoholic dementia and other medical problems," a researcher says.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Moderate drinking may prevent the onset of dementia, MedPage Today reports. A study found that adults aged 75 and over who had one or two drinks daily were 37% less likely to develop dementia. Across the study’s 6-year window, adults who drank more than two drinks a day were more likely to develop dementia than the moderate drinkers—but so were those who abstained completely.

But the researchers don’t suggest taking up drinking to try to prevent dementia—subjects who already had mild signs of dementia fared worse with any kind of alcohol consumption than abstainers. It’s also possible that moderate drinking commonly accompanies certain lifestyle choices which, rather than the alcohol itself, reduce the likelihood of dementia.