The researchers, interested in discovering if moderate drinking is associated with overall health in the elderly, followed by only about 14,000 women from the Nurses Health Study 'which started back in 1976. Researchers compared the self-reported drinking in middle age (about 58 years) and their health at the age of 70.
They are an average of 3 to 15 drinks per week were found to have up to 28% better chance of disease-free, with no physical or mental health problems and cognitive decline by the time they reach the age of 70. The findings may not apply to men or women of other races (mostly white participants).
Even having one or two alcoholic drinks a week increases the likelihood of a woman having optimal health by 11%. The researchers did not explain more than a dozen factors that might influence the aging and drinking, but it is possible that those who drank moderate amounts of different ways other than diet, smoking rates, education and family history.
Maybe there are things like social life, they way they eat or exercise, and how they manage stress may also impact how people age. Still findings add to the evidence that they were moderate drinkers had a lower risk than those who do not drink (or those who drink too much) have problems such as diabetes, heart disease and dementia.
We know that a moderate intake - one drink daily for women, two drinks per day for men - has been found to:
- Reduces inflammation
- Helps maintain cholesterol levels within a healthy range
- Increasing insulin resistance
- Keep your blood vessels working properly
This is not to say that if you are a non-drinker you should start having alcohol as this study. Just make sure you do other things for a healthy life - keep your weight within the normal range and were regularly active is much more important to overall good health as you get older than a drink or two through the week. But if you do this already, the research findings support your choice.
No doubt a discussion of the risks (and benefits) of alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine and spirits will continue. Everyone understands that drinking too much or binge drinking causes liver damage, ups risk of some cancers, contributing to depression and violence, and the impact of close relationships. If you feel you, or someone you know, have a problem with alcohol, do not wait, get help.
It is important to understand that the study is not a clinical trial, and did not offer evidence that drinking alcohol directly impacts your long term health. You should also know that some studies have shown that even small amounts of alcohol can up your risk of developing breast cancer. However, for the older woman findings from this study leaves the impression that when it comes to tips on staying healthy, some small drinks a day brings more benefits to the body from risk.