A glass of wine every day may be good for you after all-but only if you're 60 and older. It helps keep the memory sharp and the brain functioning efficiently, new research suggests.
Light consumption of your favourite tipple even has a physical effect on the brain's hippocampus, where memory and processing takes place. It helps generate new nerve cells, and makes the hippocampus grow, say researchers at the University of Texas.
They based their findings on an analysis of 660 patients in the Framingham heart study, who underwent a series of neuro-psychological tests and reported on the amount of alcohol they drank. All the patients were healthy at the time, and none had signs of dementia or Alzheimer's disease.
Although a glass or two a day may be good for cognition and memory, you can have too much of a good thing, and excessive drinking is harmful to the brain, the researchers point out.
(Source: American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, 2014; doi: 10.1177/1533317514549411)