Glass half full
That regular glass of red may not be so healthy after all. A new study suggests people who drink moderately were more than three times as likely as abstainers to show abnormal levels of shrinkage in the right hippocampus of the brain, the area associated with memory. The study followed 550 British adults — who were 43 years old, on average, at the outset — over three decades and the participants reported every five years on their lifestyle habits. They also took standard tests on their memory and other mental skills throughout, including an MRI brain scan. Although no direct link was suggested between the drinking habits of the participants and cause of dementia, it was found people who drank moderately performed poorer. Moderate drinking involves an average of 14 to 21 units of alcohol weekly, which is roughly four to six pints of beer, or five to seven glasses of wine.