Live longer – For some of you who enjoy a glass of wine or two over dinner, cheers to you: a newly presented study at the recent American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) suggests it might be helping you live longer.
The study was presented as part of a 15-year study aimed at understanding the factors behind healthy, long life, it showed people who lived to 90 and older tend to be moderate drinkers.
Claudia Kawas (a neurologist) and her team of researchers have since 2003 been following the lifestyle and dietary habits of over 1600 old timers between the ages of 90 and 99.
Over the years, her research into what makes the “oldest old” tick has thrown up some fascinating findings into aging gracefully and not so gracefully.
Her team has published authoritative literatures on leading causes of dementia, linking the neurological decline in the elderly to poor physical performance, less education and certain genetic variations.
But a positive correlation between moderate drinking habits and long life is not exactly what kawas and her research team had anticipated.
Her research showed that drinking two glasses of beer or wine per day was linked to an 18 percent lower risk of dying prematurely. “I have no explanation for it,” she reportedly said at the AAAS meeting last week. “But I do firmly believe that modest drinking improves longevity.”
What’s needed now is further work into finding the exact link between moderate drinking and long life.
I know the concept of drinking to make you healthier might seem a little hard to swallow for some, it is an area of study picking up steam in the scientific world.
A study published in the Journal of NeuroImage revealed that moderate drinking in middle-aged men is associated with improved brain white matter (a part of the central nervous system that affects learning and brain function).
Furthermore, a 2015 study also showed that alcohol intake in moderation (especially red wine) is associated with a reasonable decrease in cardiometabolic risk.
Another study showed some moderate improvement in cardiovascular health from mild to moderate beer drinking, and there are scientists who assert that moderate wine drinking, in particular, can bring about beneficial changes in diabetes, osteoporosis and neurological diseases.
It is worthy to note that alcohol research is still pretty thin on the ground, and there exist numerous studies which show a completely opposite effect of regular alcohol intake.
However, most of these studies examine the link between heavy alcohol consumption and disease risk.
To buttress this fact, a 2014 study showed that, the negative correlation between light to moderate alcohol consumption and health may be due to underreporting.
Whatever the scientific studies, its always a good idea to rein in moderation when it comes to alcohol. If not for other reason than to avoid making a fool of yourself at parties on the weekend!
Need a drink? Here are some healthy choices
Although it might appear that moderate alcohol consumption may have its merits, some drinks are healthier, far healthier than others.
Here is a list of alcoholic beverages better than the rest in terms of vitamins, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds.
It may come as no surprise seeing red wine on this list of the healthiest alcoholic drinks on the planet.
Red wine is actually known for its groups of antioxidants, high levels of bioflavonoids, that have been linked to improved cardiovascular health and lower inflammation.
Furthermore, red wine is rich in resveratrol, a compound linked with lower cancer risk and longer life.
For all the benefits of red wine, I have heard of a lot of standard viticultural practices and that a lot of nasty chemicals make it into the average bottle of wine.
In order to avoid unwanted synthetic fertilizer residue, unwanted pesticide, please try to get organic red wine.
Some of you might have heard a pint of Guinness is just what the doctor ordered when it comes to a wide range of maladies.
Well, while Guinness and some other stout brands are undoubtedly high in certain beneficial nutrients, therapeutically they are very poor in comparison to a new creation by a group of researchers at the University of Singapore.
After careful research, they came up with a probiotic sour beer that can support healthy digestion, promote solid gut health and boost immunity.
All that, and I read it doesn’t taste half bad either!
Vodka, gin, and tequila
These might be relatively light in antioxidants, high-quality tequila, gin, and vodka are a good choice for anyone who wants to drink an alcoholic beverage that isn’t loaded with toxins.
High-quality spirits are properly distilled, filtered and tend to be gluten and other additives free.
They have also been shown to lower levels of congeners (byproducts of fermentation), meaning you have less of a nasty hangover the next morning.