Study Links Drinking Wine in Moderation to Lower Risk of Depression

First Posted: Aug 30, 2013 04:38 AM EDT

Drinking wine in moderation leads to a reduced risk of developing depression, according to a latest finding.

Wine has traditionally been viewed as having medicinal value. Drinking wine, in moderation, is beneficial for health and is even being recommended as a safe alternative to drinking water.

Several studies done earlier highlighted the health benefits of drinking wine. It lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes, slows brain decline, dementia, prevents gallstones, helps to live longer and reduces the risk of developing common colds.

 Adding to these health benefits, a latest scientific study claims that drinking moderate amount of alcohol may have similar protective effect on depression like that observed for coronary heart disease although other studies have shown that high level of alcohol consumption raises risk of mental problems like depression.

The researchers studied 5,500 light to moderate drinkers for seven years of ages 55-80 who were a part of the PREDIMED study. They never had any history of depression or other alcohol-related problems at the start of the study. During the seven years, the researchers monitored the rate of alcohol consumption, mental health as well the subject's lifestyle through yearly visits, repeated medical tests, questionnaires and interviews with dieticians. Wine was the main alcoholic beverage consumed by the subjects.

On analyzing the subjects, the researchers noticed an inverse association between intake of alcohol and incidence of depression. They observed that those participants who drank a moderate amount of wine each week were less likely to suffer from depression. A low rate of depression was visible in the group that drank two-seven small glasses of wine per week.

'Lower amounts of alcohol intake might exert protection in a similar way to what has been observed for coronary heart disease. In fact, it is believed that depression and coronary heart disease share some common disease mechanisms,' senior author Professor Miguel A. Martinez-Gonzalez, from the University of Navarra, Spain, said in a news release.

The study was published in BMC Medicine

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