Unexpected Way Alcohol Improves Brain Function

Unexpected Way Alcohol Improves Brain Function


It seems as though all we read nowadays is how alcohol can negatively affect the brain, as well as our behavior and emotions. And, although this is true, this is most often the case when the drinking goes to excess.

However, a new study has surprisingly positive findings about alcohol, and celebrates moderation.

According to researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center, their studies on rats have shown that consuming less than 2.5 alcoholic drinks in a day can reduce inflammation in the brain.

Interestingly, when the mice were given a “low” amount of alcohol (humans’ equivalent of 2.5 drinks), the mice also had an increase in glymphatic function. This is very good, since the body’s glymphatic function essentially helps remove potentially harmful waste products from the brain.

These harmful waste products include tau and beta-amyloid proteins – two waste products that, when accumulated, are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.

These findings are incredibly important for society to be aware of. After all, as Dr. Maiken Nedergaard (lead study author) states:

[…] 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.”

– Dr. Maiken NedergaarD

Despite there being significant amounts of research showing the dangers of excessive drinking, more and more studies are showing the positive effects moderate drinking can have on the brain.

For instance, a Medical News Today study just last year found that moderate drinking may lower the risk of diabetes, as well as improve cognitive functioning.

These studies showcase that, like anything else, moderation is often key for health and wellness.