Mood and the grape

Posted by on Sep 6, 2013 in depression | 0 comments

iStock_000004525120XSmallDrinking wine can lower the risk of developing depression? It seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it, particularly because many studies have shown a direct association between alcohol consumption and depressive symptoms. Yet, Spanish researchers are now reporting that light to moderate drinking might actually yield mood benefits.

Before you head out to buy a few bottles of your favorite variety, there are a few key things that you need to know. For example, the original purpose of this study was to learn how a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts might help prevent heart disease In roughly 5,000 men and women with existing risk factors. It just so happens that their alcohol intake were part of overall dietary measures. So, when the researchers went back into the data, they divided these drinkers into groups based how much they drank a day, and how often wine was part of that consumption. ┬áhere’s the rub: while drinking two to seven glasses of wine a week was associated with halving the risk for developing depression, those glasses of wine translated into 5 to 15 grams at most, per day. Do the math; that’s equal to .17 to .5 ounces of wine daily. A half ounce of wine!

The reason for the protection against depression is that it is believed that depression and heart disease may share the same underlying mechanism. What’s more, wine contains certain non alcoholic components, resveratrol for example, that may protect wine drinkers from developing depression. Still, the same benefits are not seen when the amount of wine consumed daily exceeds a half ounce.

The lesson is clear: the headlines might be promising but don’t always deliver the goods. Meanwhile, I am a huge believer in the power of the grape, even if it doesn’t promise to boost my mood.



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