Drinking Reduces Alzheimer’s: This Might Help Explain Why It Does

Research has shown that alcohol drinking reduces Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other causes of dementia. This has long been true.

Recently, 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, so this isn’t a chemistry class. The important thing is that moderate drinking appears to reduce these peptides.

I. The Study

Researchers at Seoul National University and several other schools studied this question. Specifically, does drinking reduce amyloids in the brain.

To do so, they tested 414 people from Seoul. They ranged in age from 56 to 90. None had dementia or alcohol-related illnesses. However, about one-third had mild cognitive impairment. All were part of a major study

First, the researchers categorized subjects. 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. As a result, they found that moderate lifetime alcohol drinkers had much less amyloid deposition. 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.

drinking reduces Alzheimer'sAlso, it didn’t matter which form of alcohol people drank. That is, whether it was beer, wine, or spirits. (Spirits are vodka, gin, whiskey, tequila, rum, etc.) This is true in most studies. The most important content of alcoholic drinks is the alcohol itself.

II. Resources: Drinking Reduces Alzheimer’s 

Popular Sources

drinking reduces Alzheimer’sAmen, D. Preventing Alzheimers. DVD video. Newport Beach, CA: Mindworks, 2004.

Barak, Y. Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease. NY: Nova Bio, 2013.

Gray-Davidson, F. When Your Parent has Alzheimer’s. Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2000.

Levine, R. Defying Dementia. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2006.

McNamara, P. Dementia. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2011.

Nat Inst Aging. Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease. Gaithersburg, MD: The Institute, 2012.

Quinn, J. Dementia. Chichester, Eng: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.

Research Readings

Britton, A. et al. Alcohol consumption and cognitive function. Am J Epi, 2004,160(3), 240–7.

Huang, W. et al. Alcohol consumption and incidence of dementia. J Clin Epi, 2002, 55(10),959–64.

Kim, J. et al. Alcohol and cognition in the elderly: a review. Psych Inves. 2012, 9(1), 8–16.

Lang, I. et al. Moderate alcohol consumption in older adults: better cognition  than abstinence. Age Ageing. 2007, 36(3), 256–61. 

McGuire, L. et al. Cognitive functioning in late life: the impact of moderate alcohol consumption. Ann Epi, 2007, 17(2), 93–9.

Mukamal, K. et al. Prospective study of alcohol consumption and risk of dementia in older adults. JAMA, 2003, 289(11), 1405–13.

Ngandu, T. et al. Alcohol drinking and cognitive functions. Dem Geri Cogn Disord, 2007, 23(3),140–9.

Panza, F. et al. Alcohol drinking, cognitive functions in older age. J Alz Dis, 2009, 17(1), 7–31.

Peters, R. et al. Alcohol, dementia and cognitive decline in the elderly. Age Ageing, 2008, 37(5), 505–12.

Ruitenberg, A. et al. Alcohol consumption and risk of dementia. Lancet, 2002, 359(9303), 281–6.

Stampfer, M. et al. Effects of moderate alcohol consumption on cognitive function in women. N Eng J Med, 2005, 352(3), 245–53.

Xu, W. et al. Alcohol consumption and dementia risk. Eur J Epi, 2017, 32(1), 31–42.

Weyerer, S. et al. Current alcohol consumption and dementia. Age Ageing, 2011, 40(4), 456–63.


Kim, J. et al. Association of moderate alcohol intake with in vivo amyloid-beta deposition in human brain: A cross-sectional study. PLOS Med, 2020, 17(2), PMC7041799.

Note on Drinking Reduces Alzheimer’s

This website is for information only. Thus, it makes no suggestions about the fact that drinking reduces Alzheimer’s disease. Nor in how it does so.