Individuals over the age of 55 were the subjects of a new study and found that those who consumed an average glass of wine per day were found to be less clinically depressed than people who either drank more alcohol or those who didn’t drink any. This poses a direct contrast to earlier findings that concluded a correlation between alcohol and an increased risk of depression. Before you head to your favorite local restaurant for happy hour, you need to understand the risks involved and reasons behind the latest study.
Approximately 5,000 men and women of Spanish decent were followed, between the ages of 55 and 80 for approximately seven years. They were asked a series of questions periodically about their habits and lifestyle by way of questionnaire and physician visits. At the very start of the study, there were no reports of any of the individuals suffering from depression. By the culmination of the seven year period, it was found that over 443 people had shown signs of depression.
As it turned out, alcohol consumed in low to moderate levels were found to have a reduced risk of depression. For those who consumed between two and seven glasses of wine during the course of the week, they experienced the greatest benefit with only a third of the risk of depression. While it wasn’t dramatically reduced as the low to moderate groupings, moderate drinkers were proven to have a lower risk of depression. Lifestyle factors such as marital status, smoking, diet, exercise and age can influence the risk of depression, but the results held true.
If there is a connection, the effects of antioxidants in wine such as resveratrol could have a lot to do with it and provide protection similar to the way it does for those with heart disease. Many believe that heart disease and depression share similar mechanisms related to inflammation. The antioxidants in wine could prove helpful in repairing brain damage where the depression has occurred.
Previous studies concluded that hippocampal complex can play a key role in major bouts of depression. When the neuroprotection is applied, it can prevent individuals who consume alcohol on a regular basis from showing signs of depression.
Social factors have nothing to with the content of wine, but they have been shown to affect depression. Individuals who indulge in a glass or two of wine may be doing so with friends or family members. People who enjoy a social setting surrounded by friends and loved ones can significantly reduce their risks of depression, and the studies could be influenced by this.
Another factor to keep in mind is the effects of alcohol and depression on each other. Hereditary, genes and environment are predisposed issues to both and could play a significant role in this equation. This could increase the chances of an individual experiencing the use of alcohol and depression.
Because of the above reasons, the findings should be taken with a grain of salt. The people involved in the study were taken from a restricted populace in the Spanish Mediterranean where nobody over the age of 55 had been showing signs of depression.
Looking for a single answer in this study is naïve and other variables need to be taken into consideration when looking for conclusions. Other factors come into play when determining the correlation of alcohol and depression such as the person’s health, mental wellness, type of alcohol and quantity. Moderation holds the key to happiness and enjoying an occasional glass of red wine for individuals who find it pleasing to the palate might benefit brain and heart health. However, for those who don’t have a fondness for the taste, you probably don’t want to pick up the habit because it carries a significant amount of risks.
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