Campus News

Public health doctoral student says drinking alcohol in later years could extend life

Ruiyuan Zhang, a doctoral student in the College of Public Health, spoke about his research with BestLife in a recent article.

The study found that light to moderate drinking could actually preserve cognitive function in later years when it can tend to decline.

By tracking study participants over two years, the researchers were able to conclude that participants that drank fewer than eight drinks per week for women or fewer than 15 drinks per week for women scored higher on cognitive tests. They also showed lower rates of decline in cognitive ability.

“We know there are some older people who believe that drinking a little wine every day could maintain good cognitive condition,” said Zhang, noting that the ideal number of drinks should be somewhere between 10 and 14 per week, according to the study.

Zhang did warn, however, that this doesn’t compare light drinkers to those who do not drink at all, and therefore should not be encouragement to nondrinkers to start pouring themselves wine with dinner.

“It is hard to say this effect is causal,” he noted. “So, if some people don’t drink alcoholic beverages, this study does not encourage them to drink to prevent cognitive function decline.”