This is your brain on wine
It was gratifying to read in Decanter that “Wine may protect against dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease,” but I don’t know how to square that with the news, widely reported over the last two weeks, that scientists say wine, even in moderate amounts, can lead to brain shrinkage. (Click here for one report.)
How can wine cause the brain to shrink and then turn around and protect it against dementia?
Then there’s this study that “people with higher education levels exhibit more severe brain shrinkage with age than people with fewer years of education.” Which is bad news for me, since I have a ton of education.
But wait, there’s more! According to this study, exercise may help to prevent brain shrinkage, which is good news for me, since I’m a gym rat.
Then I came across this study claiming that “Scientists have found that consuming [a] vegetarian, meat-free diet leads to brain shrinkage.” Since I’m a protein freak, that doesn’t bother me.
Honestly, sometimes I don’t know what to think, what with all this information pouring in. Gee whiz, I wish someone would explain it to me in real America English, you betcha! But I guess even if I don’t know what to think, it’s a good thing to think anyway, because according to this study, “Mental activity slows brain shrink.” Seems that “people who have been more mentally active over their lives have a larger hippocampus,” and a big hippocampus is better than a little one.
So I think I’ll spend a few hours in the gym, thinking a lot, and then I’ll come home and eat a pound or two of meat and drink a bunch of wine and think some more. It’s nice to know that the things that make me happy are good for me, too.