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February 2018 (Vol. 28 Issue 11)

Cheers! Beer could prevent Alzheimer’s
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Cheers! Beer could prevent Alzheimer’s image

It’s not just red wine that can be good for us, beer also has a part in play. Regularly drinking a pint or two seems to protect against the build-up of sticky plaques in the brain, which have been associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

People who drink little but often, and start drinking from middle-age, could be less likely to develop beta-amyloid plaques—commonly known as sticky plaques—later in life, and so lower their risk of Alzheimer’s.

Researchers from the Research Society on Alcoholism made the possible connection between beer consumption and neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s when they analysed the autopsy reports on 125 men who died suddenly in Helsinki between the ages of 35 and 70.

Surviving relatives completed questionnaires about the drinking habits of the deceased, and the researchers discovered that the regular beer drinkers had fewer plaques in their brain. Spirits and wine drinking didn’t have the same protective effect.

As dementia and Alzheimer’s develop over many years, the researchers say that drinking from middle-age onwards could have a protective effect. However, they warn that excessive drinking will have a damaging effect on the brain and other organs.


References

(Source: Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 2016; doi: 10.1111/acer.13102)

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