Sunday, January 1, 2012


Have a few "too many" last night? No worries. Does the word "pickled" mean anything to you? It's more than just a descriptor for preserving food in vinegar or brine, and it isn't just slang for losing one's faculties after having ingested large quantities of alcohol (i.e., intoxicated, inebriated, sloshed, smashed, *faced, toasted, blitzed, kerschnickered). 

According to study published in Medscape Today on "boozing it up" by Siegfried Weyerer, PhD, from the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany, "There is strong evidence from previous longitudinal studies that [drinking] a small amount of alcohol is associated with lower incidence of overall dementia in Alzheimer dementia." Compared with teetotalers, subjects consuming alcohol were 29% less likely to develop dementia and were 42% less likely to develop Alzheimer disease. 

Alcohol isn't the only agent working for us against Alzheimer disease - drugs work, too!  A study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry confirmed that mice with Alzheimer disease showed marked improvement in memory and cognition after being fed a rapamycin-enhanced diet. Rapamycin is a bacterial byproduct discovered in the soil of Easter Island. 

Whether it's alcohol's anti-inflammatory properties or drugs and alcohol that are the best choices against dementia, one thing is for certain, social drinkers are social. 

What's really happening?  Perhaps the cure for many diseases is much more simple than any study can tell us in data, statistics and charts. Being social feels good. Having friends, sharing life stories, joking, laughing and loving others is what should be studied. One of the many things that unites all species is that we are social, we look to see who's driving the car next to us at the stop light, puppies will cuddle with kittens when allowed to do so, and we visit our friend's Facebook walls for a reason - it feels good. 

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