A recent study, published in the British Medical Journal, brings into question existing recommendations in the US and UK, many of which are now being revised, for moderate alcohol consumption. Previously, we believed there was a bell curve-like relationship between consumption and brain heath, with high risk existing for those who abstain and those who drink heavily, and a slight reduction in risk for those who drink a modest amount.
But this new study, which measured the size of the hippocampus in drinkers, brings new evidence to light that contradicts this commonly held belief.
For those of you looking to enjoy alcohol healthfully, I’d recommend Dry Farm Wines. Their wines are natural, organic and lower in alcohol and sugar – giving you the many benefits of red wine without the risks of excessive alcohol and sugar consumption.
These days it’s pretty common knowledge that we humans are constantly replenishing our brain cells, a process known as neurogenesis. But keep in mind that the first scientific publication that demonstrated our capacity to grow new brain cells was only recently published, in 1998. To be sure, back when I was in medical school in the early 1980s, it was pretty much accepted as dogma that humans totally lacked this ability. We were told that you had a given number of brain cells and that after around age 18, it was pretty much downhill from there.
Neurogenesis, growing new brain cells, is happening in your brain right now, and this process will continue for the rest of your life. But the revelation is that we can actually enhance this process by making smart lifestyle choices. Continue reading
It has been estimated that around 60% of Americans over the age of 18 report that they are “regular” coffee drinkers. No doubt what most motivates this consumption is the familiar and dependable lift that coffee provides.
What may be less familiar to us consumers of this popular beverage is the ever-widening base of information that reveals some significant health benefits associated with this drink.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, coffee consumption has been associated with a reduced risk for the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D). T2D is characterized by elevation of blood sugar and that can have implications for any and all parts of the body. From my perspective as a neurologist, T2D is thought to actually double a person’s risk for the development of Alzheimer’s disease (more on that in a moment).