Drinking could reduce the risk of dementia, especially in older people, according to two new reviews.
Experts claim social drinkers may be less likely to suffer mental decline, with a 23 per cent reduction in risk. US researchers claim middle-aged and older adults who drink moderate amounts – around one to two drinks a day – get protection against suffering Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
An analysis of 143 studies by Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine researchers looked at the effect of drinking on 365,000 participants.
It found moderate drinkers were 23 per cent less likely to develop cognitive impairment or dementia. Wine was more beneficial than beer, and there was no difference in the effects for men and women.
But heavy drinking – defined as more than three to five drinks a day – was linked to dementia, although the finding was not statistically significant. The analysis calculated the risk ratio between drinkers and non-drinkers of developing dementia in studies dating back to 1977.