Can a drink a day prevent mental decline? The finding that older women who consume moderate amounts of alcohol score better on cognitive tests suggests that it can.

An investigation has revealed for the first time that the brain can benefit from consumption of both beer and wine. In the early 1990s, researchers often referred to the ‘French paradox’ to support the idea that wine promotes good health1.

The phrase refers to the fact that French people have a lower risk of heart attack than Americans do, even though their diets contain similar levels of fat.

More recent studies have also linked modest beer consumption with a decreased risk in heart disease.

But although researchers know that moderate drinking benefits the heart, there haven’t been any significant studies of whether moderate alcohol intake has any effect on the brain.

More here.