Friday, August 21, 2009

Wine and Alzheimer's disease: drink for brain health

In this section we consider one of the major epidemics of our times, Alzheimer's disease. With the baby boom generation graying, the millions of new cases of this debilitating problem loom ominously. Drug therapies to date have had disappointing results. Fortunately, there is some evidence that wine drinking and other lifestyle factors can have an effect. So our count of 101 healthy reasons to drink wine continues with:
79. The Canadian Study of Health and Aging found that wine, coffee, regular exercise, and anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen were associated with the lowest risk of Alzheimer's.
80. The Copenhagen City Heart Study, a 15-year follow-up of more than 1700 subjects, found that wine consumption but not beer or spirits correlated with lower risk of Alzheimer's.
81. The Catholic University of Rome multicenter study found that drinking up to 2 bottles of wine per day for men and one for women correlated with higher scores on standardized testing of mental acuity and lower risk of Alzheimer's. (It must be pointed out that this level of consumption would have a range of detrimental effects in other categories, but it is a testament to the beneficial effects of wine on the brain nonetheless.)
82. The Bordeaux study, with perhaps the most dramatic findings of all, found that wine drinkers had an 80% lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in a population age 65 and older.

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