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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