Published in Oct 2018 / Updated in Aug 2021
Wouldn’t it be great if we could live for eternity? Okay, maybe not for eternity, but certainly long enough to see our grandkids and great-grandkids grow old? Very few people can do that, but these days, it seems more and more people are living to see more candles on their birthday cake.
So, what is different today than generations before us? It isn’t as simple as black and but more a question of red or white.
You can live longer with… Wine?
Yes, we have made huge jumps as a society in medicine that has contributed to keeping us healthy and living longer these days, but yes, that isn’t the only thing keeping us healthy.
There was a study called “The 90+ Study”, appropriately named, right? The study participants were part of another study called The Leisure World Cohort Study (LWCS), which began in 1981. Leisure World was a massive retirement community in Orange County, California. 14,000 participants were mailed surveys that they filled out for the study.
The new study used the information from the 14,000 participants of the LWCS, and researchers from the 90+ Study had asked, ‘What allows people to live to age 90 and beyond?’
The goals of the study:
Factors associated with longevity need to be determined.
Examine the oldest-old epidemiology of dementia.
Cognitive and functional decline rates of the oldest-old.
Examine “the oldest-old’s” clinical, pathological correlations.
Look at the risk factors for mortality and dementia to see if they can be modified.
Twice a year, the patients were visited and tested for neurological and neurophysiological tests. They had researchers at the Clinic for Aging Research and Education who took their information about their diet, things the patients did on a day-to-day basis, looked at their medical history, and took down their medications.
One of the significant findings that researchers had discovered was the patients who drank a moderate amount of alcohol lived much longer than those who had abstained entirely from it. Another noted coffee drinkers also lived longer than those who didn’t, but what is the fun in that?
By the bottle or by the glass?
So, we have determined that wine can help you live longer, but that doesn’t mean you should start downing wine by the bottle. Of course, you should drink wine in moderation because too much of anything is harmful. The Mayo clinic says for healthy adult men and women older than 65, the moderation is in one glass.
Now for the women and me who are under 65, moderation is considered two drinks. Take note, and these aren’t big drinks either. A regular drink is 12 0z of beer. If beer isn’t your thing, it’s 5 ounces of wine or 1.5ounces of hard alcohol such as vodka.
Here are the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption:
Lower risk of developing or dying from heart disease
Ischemic stroke risks go down
You could lower the risk of diabetes
With this being said, go out and have that glass of wine or beer with friends. If that isn’t your thing, open one when you get home from a long day of work or after the kids go to bed.
Remember to not overdo it though because drinking too much can have serious health issues.
Even though it is hazardous to our health, lately, binge drinking is the norm. If alcohol can hurt us so much, you are probably wondering how it can help us? There are two answers to this question: moderation and exercise.
The British Journal of Sports Medicine published a study that looked at how exercise can offset binge drinking’s harmful effects. Dr. Emmanuel Stamatakis, the senior author, and his colleagues examined data collected from health surveys and then separated their 36,370, which spanned over 40 years of age, into 3 different groups.
The three different groups were: not very active, those who got some exercise, and those who exercised regularly.
Next, the study looked at how much alcohol each person consumed.
Researchers had discovered that those who had lifelong abstinence from alcohol compared to those who drank dangerous alcohol levels were linked to a higher risk of death from all causes known. Also noted, the more drinks you had in a week, the higher the likelihood you got for cancer.
When the researchers factored in the weekly amount of exercise for adults, 150 minutes of moderate activity, they found it completely removed the significant risks for cancer-related death due to alcohol. Exercise also completely negated all risk of mortality deaths related to alcohol.
Stamatakis’ study can only be considered observational. It can only suggest that there is a relationship between exercise, alcohol consumption, and health benefits. It does show how important exercise is for our health. There is no denying that.
So the next time you decide to go for a drink, remember not to forget your exercise as well.