(Bill Chappell/ NPR) — If you’re worried that drinking alcohol could raise the risk of dementia as you get older, a large new study from South Korea can provide some insights. That starts with the idea that in general, cutting down on alcohol is a good idea.
“Maintaining mild to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with a decreased risk of dementia, whereas heavier drinking increases the risk of dementia,” the study’s first author, Dr. Keun Hye Jeon, told NPR.
One part of the study’s conclusions seems to have surprised many people: It found that while dropping from heavy to moderate alcohol consumption lowered the risk of dementia, so did the “initiation of mild drinking.”
“Those who drink alcohol within the recommended guidelines are not advised to stop on the grounds of reducing the risk of dementia,” Jeon said, “although cutting back on alcohol consumption may bring other health benefits.” (…)