Post-dinner tipple cuts health risks in elderly

July 24th, 2010 - 3:08 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 24 (IANS) Now say cheers! A peg or two of alcohol after dinner can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and dementia in elderly people, claim scientists.
Research shows that elderly people who take one or two drinks a day have up to 30 percent lower mortality rates than teetotallers. And the best time to enjoy a tipple is after a meal, when it can be absorbed by the food rather than making the drinker feel light-headed.

According to Daily Mail, researchers at the University of Western Australia studied the effects of regular drinking on about 25,000 people over 65.

“The biggest cause of death amongst the elderly is the clogging up of arteries which reduces the blood flow. This causes dementia, heart disease and some forms of stroke, said Helena Conibear, from the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research, which supported the study.

“But alcohol thins the blood and helps keep the arteries open by reducing inflammation. It also helps promote insulin release which can reduce the risk of late onset diabetes, which is common amongst the elderly,” Conibear added.

“We also believe it can reduce the risk of dementia which is caused by a reduced blood flow to the brain.”

However, these benefits are cancelled out if drinkers go above the recommended maximum of two or three units a day, the scientists said.

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