A few glasses of wine a day can keep your brain ‘clean,’ study says


Love mellowing out with a few sips of wine occasionally? Drinking a couple of glasses can help clean the toxins from your brain, according to a new report.

>> Read more trending news 

Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center recently conducted an experiment, published in Scientific Reports, to determine how ethanol affects the central nervous system.

To do so, they examined mice and exposed them both to “acute and chronic alcohol,” the authors wrote. They first gave the animals high levels of alcohol and studied their brains over a long period of time. After analyzing the results, they found inflammation, particularly in cells that work with the glymphatic system. It’s responsible for clearing out waste sometimes associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Additionally, they discovered the mice’s cognitive and motor abilities were impaired. 

>> Related: Hard liquor makes you feel differently than wine, study says

Next they served the mice low levels of alcohol, which is the equivalent of two and a half drinks per day. When they observed their brains again, they saw less inflammation and noticed the glymphatic system was more efficient. 

"Prolonged intake of excessive amounts of ethanol is known to have adverse effects on the central nervous system," coauthor Maiken Nedergaard said in a statement. "However, in this study we have shown for the first time that low doses of alcohol are potentially beneficial to brain health, namely it improves the brain's ability to remove waste."

They believe their results add to the pool of studies that have already explored the risks and health benefits linked to alcohol, and they hope to further their investigations.

>> Related: Just one drink a day can increase your risk of cancer, study

“Studies have shown that low-to-moderate alcohol intake is associated with a lesser risk of dementia, while heavy drinking for many years confers an increased risk of cognitive decline,” said Nedergaard. “This study may help explain why this occurs. Specifically, low doses of alcohol appear to improve overall brain health.”

>> Related: How much alcohol is too much? 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Unsafe amounts of weed killer chemical found in some oat-based food, report finds
Unsafe amounts of weed killer chemical found in some oat-based food, report finds

Oatmeal and some other popular oat-based breakfast foods, including granola bars, may contain unsafe amounts of weed killer, according to a report.  The Environmental Working Group (EWG), an environmental organization that specializes in research and advocacy, conducted a study on 29 oat-based foods.  It found that all but five contained...
Former CIA Director John Brennan: ‘I will not relent’
Former CIA Director John Brennan: ‘I will not relent’

Shortly after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that President Donald Trump is revoking John Brennan’s security clearance, the former CIA director replied on Twitter:  Brennan later appeared in an MSNBC interview discussing the announcement. "I think Mr. Trump is getting more and more concerned...
Person bitten by shark off Cape Cod
Person bitten by shark off Cape Cod

A person was bitten by a shark off Cape Cod, sources tell Boston 25 News. >> Read more trending news  The harbormaster said that a Medflight has been called to take the victim to Tufts Medical Center. Crews are now out looking for the shark. The victim reportedly has "deep puncture wounds." Truro police are handling the investigation...
1 dead in fatal industrial accident near Walt Disney World employee area
1 dead in fatal industrial accident near Walt Disney World employee area

A 61-year-old man has died after an industrial accident near a Walt Disney World employee area, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said. >> Read more trending news  According to deputies, two employees were emptying oil and grease byproduct from a semitrailer into a vat at the Harvest Power energy facility in Reedy Creek near...
‘John Doe’ buried in Georgia ID’ed by DNA as Michigan teen missing 39 years
‘John Doe’ buried in Georgia ID’ed by DNA as Michigan teen missing 39 years

Forensic experts on Tuesday identified a body buried in Georgia for nearly 40 years as a 15-year-old Michigan boy who was reported missing in 1979. Andrew Jackson Greer Jr., of Clayton, vanished Feb. 12, 1979, after leaving Addison High School and failing to return home. Michigan State Police officials said in a news release that the cold case...
More Stories