While a mountain of research supports light drinking with protecting your heart, a new study finds that a glass of wine a day could lower your risks of developing depression.
Researchers from University of Navarra in Spain looked at data on 5,505 men and women ages 55 to 80 years old. Subjects had no history of depression or alcohol-related problems prior to the study, and over the course of seven years, researchers tracked their drinking habits, lifestyle, and mental health through repeated visits, medical exams, and interviews.
Findings showed that those who drank moderate amounts of alcohol, mostly wine, had similar protective effects on depression to those that have been observed for coronary heart disease. The lowest rates of depression were seen in subjects who drank two to seven small glasses of wine per week. These results remained significant even when the researchers adjusted for other lifestyle and social factors, such as smoking, diet, and marital status.
Findings were published online Friday, August 30, in the journal BMC Medicine.
"Lower amounts of alcohol intake might exert protection in a similar way to what has been observed for coronary heart disease," said senior author Miguel A. Martínez-González. "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.
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FAVORITE RED: Trader Joe's Charles Shaw Blend Cabernet Sauvignon (a.k.a. Three-Buck Chuck), California, 2011 -- $3
<strong>Comments:</strong> "This is much smoother and rounder." "This seems to have more layers of flavor." "Much smoother and easier to drink." "Less acidic finish than the other." "I like this more than the other, but that makes me think maybe it's because my palate is unrefined?" "I have no idea which is which! This exercise makes me happy that I don't spend money on wine, as it obviously would be wasted on me."
Laurel Glen Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma Mountain, Californa, 2007 -- $65
<strong>Comments:</strong> "Tastes like decaying strawberries." "They're too close in flavor to be $60 apart." "This has more tannins and a truer color, and it's more complex." "This is harsh and overly acidic." "This has a fuller taste and is a bit sour." "This is bland." "Strangely harsh." "This seems to open up on my tongue." "This is very tannic, you can see a ton of sediment."
Glen Ellen Reserve Concannon, 2010 Chardonnay from California -- $5
<strong>Comments: </strong> "Too fruity and just tasted really unsophisticated -- like the wine I bought in college when I only had a few bucks to spend." "This is much softer and rounder. A little sweet, but I like it better." "This is quite thin and one-note." "This was hard to drink for me." "Paler, glassier and milder than the other." "Tastes much oakier and I'm assuming that when it comes to Chardonnay, more oak equals more loot?" "This tastes worse to me, but has more pronounced legs."
FAVORITE WHITE: Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California -- $45
<strong>Comments:</strong> "I'm finding this much harder to differentiate than I expected." "This is more drinkable and drier, which I assume makes it the cheap one." "This has no flavor." "This is spicier, sweeter, thicker -- still, has a cleaner finish than the other." "Seems more complex." "This has a much smoother quality." "This is a little bitter but has a nice effervescence."