6) Drink well?
Large studies following thousands of senior citizens show that moderate alcohol consumption is associated with reduced risk from Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias. Some studies suggest that the type of alcohol consumed is not important in conferring this protection whereas others have specifically pointed to red wine as being protective. It may be that alcohol per se has a protective effect and red wine in particular has additional protective qualities. Although there is some controversy over why so many studies show an association between moderate alcohol consumption and reduced risk for Alzheimer’s Disease [and stroke related dementia] there is general agreement that the phenomena is real. This doesn’t mean that most doctors or medical professionals will start recommending alcohol consumption because alcohol abuse and binge drinking are associated with cognitive impairment and dementia. Nevertheless, studies consistently show that alcohol taken in moderation is a protective factor. Work on red wine has suggested that chemicals called polyphenols that are generated mostly in the grape skin have anti-oxidant properties that can protect blood vessel cells from the stress of vascular disease and neurons from the stress of Alzheimer’s Disease.