A Wine a Day … Keeps the Psychiatrist Away? Light Drinking Linked to Lower Risk of Depression

jan_van_beers_in_vino_veritas_d5344584hVia ScienceDaily:

Drinking wine in moderation may be associated with a lower risk of developing depression, according to research published in Biomed Central’s open access journal BMC Medicine. The reported findings by the PREDIMED research Network suggest that the moderate amounts of alcohol consumed may have similar protective effects on depression to those that have been observed for coronary heart disease.

Alcohol consumption around the world is increasing, and previous studies have shown that heavy alcohol intake is related to mental health problems, such as depression. Few studies have looked at the relationship between mental health and moderate alcohol intake. In a new article in BMC Medicine, researchers report on a cohort study that followed over 5,500 light-to-moderate drinkers for up to seven years. The results show an inverse relationship between alcohol intake and incidence of depression.

The study participants are from the PREDIMED study, aged between 55 and 80 years old, had never suffered from depression or had alcohol-related problems when the study started. Their alcohol consumption, mental health and lifestyles were followed for up to seven years through yearly visits, repeated medical exams, interviews with dieticians and questionnaires.

The main alcoholic beverage drunk by the study participants was wine. When analysed, it was shown that those who drank moderate amounts of wine each week were less likely to suffer from depression. The lowest rates of depression were seen in the group of individuals who drank two to seven small glasses of wine per week. These results remained significant even when the group adjusted them for lifestyle and social factors, such as smoking, diet and marital status.

Professor Miguel A. Martínez-González, from the University of Navarra (Spain), senior author of the paper, said, ‘Lower amounts of alcohol intake might exert protection in a similar way to what has been observed for coronary heart disease. In fact, it is believed that depression and coronary heart disease share some common disease mechanisms.’ Previous studies have indicated that non-alcoholic compounds in the wine, such as resveratrol and other phenolic compounds, may have protective effects on certain areas of the brain.

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  • Haystack

    Is that correlation or causation?

  • mole_face

    I’ve never bothered with one drink a day, since I’m so naturally high strung that I get zero relaxing effects from it. But as for even 3 drinks a day, I always experience a fairly subtle but noticeable cognitive decline and slight depressed/burned-out feeling for up to a week after I last had alcohol.

    This sounds corny, but I’ve found that one of the best highs comes from keeping my body as nourished and clean as possible while also doing regular vigorous exercise. After only a month or so of following this lifestyle, I start to feel like my brain’s CPU has been upgraded – colors appear slightly more vivid, fluidity of thought improves, my mood is constantly elevated, etc.

    But hey, maybe daily use of a neurotoxin is just as good. After all, I’m no scientist.

  • BuzzCoastin

    this was study 1578 in favor of alcohol consumption
    as opposed to the 1576 studies opposed to alcohol consumption

    there is a yin & yang
    good & bad
    service & disservice
    for any THING you can name

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