Research has shown that alcohol drinking reduces Alzheimer’s disease (AD). It also reduces other causes of dementia. This has long been found.
Now research has implicated plaques in the brain in causing AD. And a cause of such plaques are beta-amyloid peptides. These are short links of amino acids.
OK, this isn’t a chemistry class. The important thing is that moderate drinking appears to reduce amyloids.
I. The Study
Researchers studied this question. That is, does drinking reduce amyloids in the brain.
To do so, they tested 414 people. They ranged in age from 56 to 90. None had dementia or alcohol related illnesses. But about one-third had mild cognitive impairment. All were part of a major study.
First, the researchers grouped people. There were abstainers. Infrequent drinkers had less than one drink per week. Moderate drinkers had one to 13 per week. And heavy drinkers had 14 or more drinks weekly. The study excluded bingers and former drinkers.
Then researchers tested for amyloids in the brain. They used three different brain imaging scans. They found that moderate lifetime alcohol drinkers had much less amyloid deposits. That’s in comparison with non-drinkers. The same was true in comparison to both occasional and heavy drinkers.
The researchers tested for other reasons for the findings. So they adjusted for body weight, occupation, income, and depression. Yet the findings remained.
Also, it didn’t matter which form of alcohol people drank. That is, whether it was beer, wine, or spirits (liquor). This is true in most studies. The most important content of alcoholic drinks is the alcohol itself.
II. Resources: Drinking Reduces Alzheimer’s
- Kim, J. et al. Association of moderate alcohol intake with in vivo amyloid-beta deposition in human brain. PLOS Med, 2020, 17(2).
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