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Surprising study finds drinking alcohol may protect brain health


Studies over the potential risks and benefits of drinking alcohol are all over the place, with some reporting that light drinking may be relatively health-neutral, while others have found that even small amounts can be harmful — and, of course, there are the studies linking alcohol to protective benefits. A new study follows that latter line, reporting that up to a certain point, drinking alcohol may help protect brain function as we age.

The latest research comes from the University of Georgia, where experts evaluated the potential effect of light to moderate drinking on cognitive performance and overall brain function in older adults. The participants were middle-aged and older, according to the study, which utilized the Health and Retirement Study participant data.

Information on nearly 20,000 participants was evaluated as part of this new study; the researchers considered consuming no more than eight drinks weekly for women and 15 drinks for men as ‘light to moderate’ drinking. Using various tests, the participants were evaluated for cognitive function across various things, including vocabulary and more.

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