Positive effects due to the consumption of alcohol?
It is known that a high consumption of alcohol is damaging drinks to the health and the risk for various diseases increases. On the other hand, there is also evidence from scientific studies, which indicate that it is healthy to drink a daily glass of red wine. A new study comes now to the conclusion that lighter alcohol consumption may have a positive influence on the cognitive functions.
As the German society of neurology e. V. (DGN) writes in a recent communication, a large population-based, prospective cohort study from the USA to the conclusion that a low to moderate alcohol consumption seems to have a positive impact on cognitive function. According to the DGN-Secretary-General Professor Peter Berlit, the effect could be mediated possibly vascular. Nevertheless, the data should be interpreted with Association studies necessary caution.
Word reminder, vocabulary, and mental Status
In the journal “JAMA Network Open” published a study that analyzed the data of nearly 20,000 people from the United States, brought an interesting result. It was a secondary analysis of the “Health and Retirement study” (HRS), their participating, since 1992, be examined every two years in General medical.
The present analysis evaluated data from the third wave of the Survey (1996 and later) and only Study included participants who had at least completed three two-yearly health checks.
In all subjects, and subjects who were in confinement for 65 years and older, have been carried out since the beginning of the HRS cognitive function tests. As of 1998, these Tests were performed on all study participants, regardless of age.
A total of three domains were evaluated: The word reminder, vocabulary, as well as the so-called mental Status. This includes various cognitive abilities such as memory, concentration, orientation, judgment, and mathematical skills.
How the DGN declared, was to rise the aim of the current evaluation, to the influence of a low to moderate alcohol consumption has on cognitive function, and whether it leads to a change in cognitive function between the middle phase of life and age.
Low to moderate alcohol consumption was defined in the study as less than eight Drinks per week for women and less than 15 Drinks per week for men (in the context of scientific studies is what is meant by a Drink in a small glass of wine (150 ml) or beer (350 ml)).
Study participants in this drinking behavior were compared in terms of the development of your cognitive function with Non-Drinking and heavily Drinking. The cohort consisted of depreciated total 19.887 study participants, which were on average of 61.8 years old. About 60 percent were women and more than 85 percent were white.
The dose makes the poison
According to the figures showed in the result, that low to moderate alcohol consumption was associated with a higher cognitive function curve, and a lower cognitive rate of degradation.
The probability of cognitive decline was compared to abstainers indoor and abstinence, learning to 34 percent lower (OR of 0.66), the differences between the groups in terms of mental Status, word memory, and vocabulary were significant – moderate Drinking were superior to the Non-Drinking in the test results.
The annual cognitive loss of function was in the group with moderate alcohol consumption, according to the communication is significantly lower. This connection was particularly marked in the case of persons of white skin color is particularly clear. However, between alcohol consumption and cognitive function took a clear U-curve relationship: In the case of heavy Drinking, cognitive function rapidly.
“In this study, it is clear, therefore, that the dose makes the poison. Alcohol is ultimately a toxin, a Cell, to the nerve and brain cells are particularly sensitive. Excessive alcohol consumption not only harms the liver, but can lead to life-threatening neurological consequences,“ warns Professor Dr. Peter Berlit, Secretary-General of the DGN. The expert would like to know this study, therefore, not as a licence for unbridled consumption of alcohol is understood.
Association studies have no probative value
Nevertheless, the question remains open, which is why a low to moderate level of alcohol consumption for cognitive function beneficial it could be. “This positive effect of the moderate consumption of alcohol is probably mediated vascular”, said the expert.
Association studies have shown, for example, that a glass of red wine per day is associated with a lower cardiovascular risk, so the vascular protective effect could be. Be suspected of anti-oxidant as well as anti-thrombotic and vasodilating effects, and also positive effects on Lipid metabolism by increasing HDL-cholesterol.
Nevertheless, it should be stressed Berlit, according to that there is a causal relationship between moderate alcohol consumption and positive effects have not been demonstrated on the vascular and brain health so far, because Association studies have basically no evidence.
“If, however, the hypothesis that moderate alcohol consumption has a vascular protective effect, true, it would be easy to explain why he could also have a favourable impact on cognitive function. A large part of all dementias damage caused by the Vessel, we speak of a vascular cognitive impairment. Everything that the vascular health and receives the reduction of Overweight, exercise, a healthy diet and reduce high blood pressure protects against dementia.“ (ad)