Beer as brain food?

New study finds moderate drinking may slow mental decline of aging

Sept 13, 2000 - The British Journal of Psychiatry reports research that shows that cutting blood pressure and drinking moderately, already shown to promote heart health, may also ward off the mental decline that comes with age.


Researchers found that those whose blood pressure dropped over time were less likely than others to see their mental abilities decline.

"I must say, this is good news," Dr. Jorge A. Cervilla said. Health in an interview. Some studies have linked uncontrolled high blood pressure to mental decline, and some have suggested moderate drinking protects the brain; however, Cervilla said, it has been unclear whether these associations hold over the long term. Subjects in his study had their mental functioning re-tested 9 to 12 years after their original tests.

While slowing or preventing mental decline has obvious benefits in and of itself, it also cuts the risk of developing Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, Cervilla said. Recently, other researchers presented findings at the World Alzheimer Congress 2000 meeting showing that a drink or two per day may cut the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

As with other studies, results were best for those who drank in moderation. "We're not saying you should get drunk every day," Cervilla said.

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