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Can Moderate Drinking Decrease Alzheimer's Brain Proteins?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

moderate alcohol consumption benefits

Story at-a-glance -

  • People who drank moderately over the course of decades had a 66% lower rate of beta-amyloid deposits in their brains compared to nondrinkers
  • Moderate drinking was defined as one to 13 standard drinks a week, with a standard drink defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor
  • Because the study relied on participants’ recall for alcohol drinking history and was observational in nature, it does not prove that alcohol consumption caused the reduction in beta-amyloid
  • Separate research suggests consuming alcohol may accelerate brain aging and contribute to dementia and cognitive decline
  • There are many other foods and beverages you can consume that are linked to positive brain health without the risks associated with drinking alcohol

Excess alcohol consumption is known to harm brain health. In the case of binge drinking or heavy alcohol consumption, it may even make it more likely that your brain may accumulate damaging beta-amyloid proteins, potentially contributing to the development of Alzheimer's disease.

However, controversy remains over whether all alcohol consumption is harmful, with some research suggesting that moderate intake may instead have a protective effect.

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