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Wine a Day keeps Depression Away

Posted: Tuesday, 03 September 2013 14:50

Study: Wine a Day keeps Depression Away

Sep 03: While extensive research has shown that drinking wine in moderation protects your heart in more than one way, a new study at the University of Navarra in Spain has concluded that drinking wine in moderation may be associated with a lower risk of developing depression, according to the research published in BMC Medicine journal last Friday.

Previous studies have shown that heavy drinking of alcohol is related to mental health problems, such as depression. Few studies have, however, looked at the relationship between mental health and moderate alcohol intake. In this new article researchers report on a cohort study that covered over 5,500 light-to-moderate drinkers for up to seven years. The results show an inverse relationship between alcohol intake and incidence of depression.

The study participants are from the PREDIMED study, aged between 55 and 80 years old, had never suffered from depression or had alcohol-related problems when the study started. Their alcohol consumption, mental health and lifestyles were studied for up to seven years through yearly visits, repeated medical exams, interviews with dieticians and questionnaires.

The main alcoholic beverage drunk by the study participants was wine. When analysed, it was shown that those who drank moderate amounts of wine each week were less likely to suffer from depression. The lowest rates of depression were seen in the group of individuals who drank two to seven small glasses of wine per week. These results remained significant even when the group adjusted them for lifestyle and social factors, such as smoking, diet and marital status.

According to Science Daily, Prof. Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, M.D., Ph.D., chair, department of preventive medicine and public health, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain and senior author of the paper, says, 'lower amounts of alcohol intake might exert protection in a similar way to what has been observed for coronary heart disease. In fact, it is believed that depression and coronary heart disease share some common disease mechanisms.' Previous studies have indicated that non-alcoholic compounds in the wine, such as resveratrol and other phenolic compounds may have protective effects on certain areas of the brain.’

The message seems to be clear-a glass of wine a day could lower your risks of developing depression. However, as has become a norm with such studies, there are the usual riders: those who don’t drink alcohol should not start drinking wine with the express objective of reducing the onset of depression and that more studies need to be done before conclusive results may be declared.

In the absence of any universally accepted and conclusive evidence of the impact of wine and alcohol  on health, delWine continues to recommend a cautionary approach and suggests one glass a day for women and two glasses  for a male (125 mL each at 12.5%-adjust in case of higher alcohol or the quantity per glass).

Those in the medical profession including psychiatrists and others interested in technical details of the report including the possible competing interests of the researchers may also visit

Subhash Arora

Tags: University of Navarra, Spain, Prof. Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, Pamplona, resveratrol


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