To drink or not to drink, that is the question. Is it good or bad? One study says that drinking in moderate amounts in middle age may be good for our brains. Consuming a little, which is 8 units per week for women or 15 for men, could be helpful, but more than that could impair cognitive function.
A survey recently published revealed that more than 4 in 10 households have been consuming more alcohol during lock down, and this may result in a surge of alcohol related ill health and liver disease too.
To give you some idea of units, a pint of beer is approximately 2.3 units of alcohol, as does a small glass of wine and a small single measure of spirits counts as one unit. So it’s easy to see how those units add up!
People who had up to two drinks per day seemed to fare better in cognitive tests than those who abstained or who drank more than 14 units per week. The reason why though, is unclear.
It may be a balance of beneficial and harmful effects. It can cause heart problems but on the plus side the antioxidant effect of polyphenols has been proved to be beneficial.
Another benefit of moderate drinking for women seems to protect against type 2 diabetes, heart attack and stroke, but this didn’t apply to men who experienced health problems at all drinking levels.
So still no definitive answer on alcohol consumption, but to be on the safe side, moderate to low alcohol consumption seems to be the order of the day.