A new Spanish study from the University of Navarra, as part of a broader report on the Mediterranean diet, has revealed that drinking wine can help avert depression. It’s more good news for wine drinkers: there’s already a huge body of research to connect light drinking with protecting your heart.
The study followed 5,500 light to moderate drinkers of wine for seven years. The study concentrated on people aged 55 – 80, the age group in which the risk of depression is relatively high, and discovered that those who drank moderately (two to seven glasses of wine per week) seemed to less prone to depression than those who drank very little wine.
So while drinking a lot of wine or anything else might be a sign of depression or other mental health problems, it seems that in moderation it can benefit you. One explanation might be to do with the neuroprotective effects of the antioxidants in wine, like resveratrol.
The study doesn’t actually prove cause and effect; wine drinkers might be happier because of other factors like having a normal social life. But the findings, published in BMC Medicine, are significant even when controlled for other factors like smoking and diet.
Wine is part of the Mediterranean diet, which is known to reduce the risk of cardio-vascular disease by up to 30%. The Mediterranean diet of olive oil, wine, a high intake of fruit, vegetables and fish alongside a small quantity of diary and meat, has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of cardio-vascular disease.
So drink up…but not too much!
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