There are so many factors that affect your risk of dementia as you age from lack of exercise and too little vitamin D to the prescription drugs you take and a buildup of toxins in your body.
To top it off to manage your dementia risk, you also have to watch your diet and avoid other chronic diseases that raise your likelihood of developing the disease, like heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol.
And, although it may seem like a lot, the good news is that by being aware of the factors that can put you at higher risk of dementia, you can avoid them, lower your risk and improve your chances of preserving your brain health and your memories for life.
Now, thanks to a scientific study there is one more risk factor when it comes to dementia that you should be aware of…
Okay, so you may have already wondered whether drinking might be harmful to your brain… But, the new study came up with some surprising findings.
That’s because it’s not just too much alcohol that can lead to dementia but too little as well.
Well, here’s what you need to know…
Abstinence is just as bad as heavy drinking
Two separate research teams combined their efforts in a massive study of over 9,000 people to determine why previous studies had linked moderate drinking to a decreased risk of dementia.
Here’s what they found…
Dementia risk was higher in two groups of people.
The first group was the heavy drinkers – ones that regularly consumed more than 14 units of alcohol per week.
For reference, a unit would be roughly:
- A single measure of spirits (liquor)
- 83 mL or 2.8 ounces of average-strength (12%) wine
- A half pint or eight ounces of (4%) beer
The second group with a high dementia risk?
The people that didn’t drink at all.
So, why is it that both heavy drinkers and people that abstain from alcohol raise their risk of losing their memories thanks to dementia?
According to the researchers, while the problems with heavy drinking may be obvious since it damages your brain health, the risk from too little drinking comes from a different source altogether – heart disease.
You see, moderate alcohol consumption is also linked to a lower risk of heart problems (a major risk factor for dementia).
In fact, regular drinking has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by a third or more.
Alcohol in moderation only
Of course, no discussion of the health benefits of alcohol would be complete without a reminder that the dangers can outweigh the benefits when not used in moderation since drinking too much can lead to liver disease, osteoporosis and even immune system problems.
That makes it vital to always stay under that 14 unit per week guideline and it’s likely that the lower end of the scale is better for your health.
So, let’s go over again what you can do to reduce your risk of dementia:
- Keep your alcohol use limited to 1 – 14 units per week
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy level of vitamin D in your body
- Watch out for prescription drugs that lead to dementia (Some include: antihistamines, tricyclic antidepressants and anticholinergic medications for insomnia and bladder control.)
- Relax in a sauna to sweat out any toxin buildup from your body
- Eat at least three servings of vegetable and two servings of fruit per day
Your risks of dementia may go up as you age but it’s not inevitable. Use the tips above to significantly reduce the chances of ending up with the disease and protect your brain health and memories starting today.
Editor’s note: One of the biggest dangers to anyone’s brain is a drug that 38 million Americans take every single day. It robs the brain of an essential nutrient required for optimal brain health. And it steals memories. Are you taking it? Click here to find out!
- The vitamin that works like dementia ‘repellent’ — Easy Health Options®
- 4 drugs that can give you dementia — Easy Health Options®
- Relax and slash your dementia risk by half — Easy Health Options®
- To avoid Alzheimer’s eat more fruit… or veggies? — Easy Health Options®
- Risk Factors — Alzheimer’s Association®
- Both long term abstinence and heavy drinking may increase dementia risk — BMJ
- Alcohol May Reduce Men’s Heart Risk — WebMD
- Ten health risks of chronic heavy drinking — medicalnewstoday.com