Friday, September 04, 2009

Viva Happy Hour!

I have a daily happy hour - a ritual I have imbued with an almost religious aura, in which the single daily drink is sufficient to put me in "the zone." In spite of a literature that mostly says that a little booze is good for you, I still worry that I might be pickling more little gray cells than is desirable. Thus a recent little gem from the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry is reassuring. A meta-analysis combining many studies concludes that compared with abstainers, male drinkers reduced their risk for dementia by 45 percent, and women by 27 percent. This is consonant with evidence from other studies that moderate alcohol consumption can increase HDL, or “good cholesterol,” improve blood flow to the brain and decrease blood coagulation. You can check the article for the various caveats to the study.

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