Top 10 alcohol health claims17th July, 2012 by db_staff
5. Drinking alcohol makes you smarter
People who consume as little as a single drink of alcoholic beverage per week have significantly greater cognitive functioning — -sharper thought processes — than teetotalers. That’s the finding of a study of over 6,000 British civil servants.
The beneficial mental effects of alcohol were found when a person drinks up to about 30 drinks per week, and increased with consumption. The researchers did not test the effects of higher levels of alcohol drinking.
These latest findings on the benefits of alcohol come from a study of the long-term health of civil servants, known as the Whitehall Study, established in 1967. Sir Michael Marmot, professor of epidemiology and public health, led the analysis, which involved giving psychometric tests to all subjects. The questions ranged from verbal and mathematical reasoning to tests of short-term memory. Mental functioning was then compared to drinking patterns. Abstainers were twice as likely as occasional drinkers to receive the lowest test scores.
The research team suggests that alcohol (beer, wine, or liquor) improves mental functioning because it increases blood flow to the brain. The results are published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.