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Alcohol and Optimal Brain Health?

27 Jan

redwineWe have heard that alcohol consumption is good for you, your heart in particular well what about your brain? Sounds like a true oxymoron, alcohol being good for brain function right? I mean we have all witnessed people ‘on’ too much alcohol and so the immediate effects on the brain are apparent, slowed reflexes, slurred speech, decrease inhibition, decrease balance and inability to really focus…But what about long-term?

The Greeks touted “nothing in excess,” a refrain that still rings true: Low to moderate* alcohol consumption has been associated with numerous potential physiologic benefits with neurologic implications, including improved cholesterol profiles, beneficial effects on platelet and clotting function, and improved insulin sensitivity. Last year we reported that limited alcohol use is associated with a lower risk for dementia[ and that moderate alcohol — especially antioxidant-rich red wine — intake may protect against cerebrovascular disease.A new study published in Circulation Research found that dealcoholized Merlot reduced blood pressure by approximately 6/3 mm Hg in a sample of 67 men at high cardiovascular risk, suggesting that the beneficial effects of wine consumption may not strictly be due to its alcohol content.

The Dr in The Kitchen Warning! Beware that the health costs to the brain of alcohol consumption can quickly outweigh the benefits, as heavy and long-term alcohol use can lead to alcohol abuse and dependence, impair memory function, contribute to neurodegenerative disease, and hinder psychosocial functioning

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Posted by on January 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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