Post by Crononauta Post by Nicola Larosa
Parecchie ricerche confermano che uno o due bicchieri di vino (meglio se
rosso) al giorno allungano la vita;
Quali ricerche, di grazia? ;-)
Sfatiamo questo mito: l'alcol è un *veleno*, e fa male in ogni quantità.
Se tanto, farà tanto male, se poco, farà poco male.
Che faccia bene, non esiste in nessuna ricerca!
Che poi nel vino rosso ci siano dei flavonoidi utili alla protezione
delle pareti vascolari sarà anche vero, così come è però vero questi
flavonoidi possono derivare anche da alimenti ben più "innocui" del
Riporto quanto avevo già scritto in un precedente thread sull'argomento dei
possibili danni/vantaggi dell'alcool per il cervello, aggiungendo solo
alcune (banali) considerazioni a scanso di equivoci: in Italia c'è un mito
del vino "salutare" che pare più a vantaggio dei produttori che altro...;
il marketing è spesso bugiardo e tentatore anche per l'alcool; mancano in
etichetta informazioni sui rischi per il feto durante la gravidanza;
guidare sotto l'effetto dell'alcool è criminale; per alcuni soggetti
predisposti anche un sol bicchiere o due giornalieri può essere un inizio
che porta alla bottiglia, e in quel caso ovviamente meglio evitare del
Tuttavia, per una persona che sa gestire il bicchiere *occasionale*, non
sono per gli "assolutismi". Personalmente non ho l'abitudine di bere, né
consiglio di prendere quest'abitudine, ma se si tratta di un'occasione
speciale non mi tiro indietro in nome di un "no assoluto" che non avrebbe
reali motivazioni sul piano della salute.
Così in un anno finisco per bere qualche bicchiere di spumante, vino rosso
e birra, ma si possono contare sulle punte delle dita e non penso che
morirò né prima né dopo per questo!
A quanto capisco, ci sono diversi studi sui danni al cervello degli
alcolisti cronici e dei forti bevitori, e non ci sono dubbi sugli effetti
nefasti dell'alcolismo (che, tra parentesi, fa molti più morti della
droga), ma solo di recente si è indagato più a fondo sugli effetti di un
Da una parte l'alcool è un tossico, fortemente sconsigliato soprattutto a
chi soffre di alcune patologie, e associato, fra l'altro, all'atrofia
cerebrale (sia pure in proporzione alle dosi, dunque minima per consumi
minimi) osservabile con tecniche di risonanza magnetica. Inoltre, anche un
consumo moderato può portare un surplus di calorie non sazianti che possono
facilmente essere di troppo per un sedentario!
D'altra parte, secondo alcuni studi un consumo leggero o moderato è
associato anche a effetti positivi, per esempio per quanto riguarda il
cervello di *prevenzione* della demenza (secondo tutti gli studi che ho
trovato) e del rischio cerebrovascolare e di infarto cerebrale (secondo
diversi studi, uno invece non conferma). Non va poi trascurato il piacere
psicologico e la funzione di socializzazione che vino & company hanno per
chi li apprezza, aspetti che non sono affatto estranei a un approccio
salutista, visto che la salute non dipende solo da fattori fisici ma anche
dal benessere della psiche. :)
Ti riporto gli Abstract di alcuni studi da Pubmed, traine tu stesso le
conclusioni che credi...
Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Oct;80(4):992-7.
Alcohol intake in relation to brain magnetic resonance imaging findings in
older persons without dementia.den Heijer T, Vermeer SE, van Dijk EJ, Prins
ND, Koudstaal PJ, van Duijn CM, Hofman A, Breteler MM.
Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Erasmus Medical Center,
BACKGROUND: Consumers of light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol have a lower
risk of dementia and, possibly, Alzheimer disease than do abstainers.
Because vascular disease may contribute to symptoms of Alzheimer disease,
reduction of cerebrovascular disease in consumers of light amounts of
alcohol could account for that observation. However, a low concentration of
alcohol may also have direct effects on the hippocampus, a brain structure
highly affected by Alzheimer disease. OBJECTIVE: We investigated alcohol
intake in relation to brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings of
presumed vascular origin (ie, white matter lesions and infarcts) and
findings more specifically found in early Alzheimer disease (ie,
hippocampal and amygdalar atrophy). DESIGN: In a population-based sample of
1074 older persons without dementia (aged 60-90 y), we made brain MRIs from
which we rated white matter lesions and brain infarcts. In a subset of 509
people, hippocampal and amygdalar volumes on MRI were measured. Alcohol
intake was assessed by using a structured questionnaire. We categorized
alcohol intake as lifetime abstention and very light (<1 drink/wk), light
(>/=1 drink/wk to <1 drink/d), moderate (>/=1 drink/d to <4 drinks/d), and
heavy (>/=4 drinks/d) intakes. RESULTS: Persons whose alcohol consumption
was light to moderate had less severe white matter lesions and brain
infarcts on MRI than did abstainers or heavy drinkers. Abstainers and very
light drinkers had smaller hippocampal and amygdalar volumes on MRI than
did light-to-moderate drinkers, but only if the former carried an
apolipoprotein (APOE) epsilon4 allele. CONCLUSION: Light-to-moderate
alcohol intake is associated with a lower prevalence of vascular brain
findings and, in APOE epsilon4 carriers, hippocampal and amygdalar atrophy
PMID: 15447910 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Stroke. 2004 Jan;35(1):16-21. Epub 2003 Dec 4.
Alcohol intake and cerebral abnormalities on magnetic resonance imaging in
a community-based population of middle-aged adults: the Atherosclerosis
Risk in Communities (ARIC) study.
Ding J, Eigenbrodt ML, Mosley TH Jr, Hutchinson RG, Folsom AR, Harris TB,
Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public
Health, 615 N Wolfe St, Room 6009, Baltimore, Md 21205, USA.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Although the risks associated with heavy drinking
for increased stroke and neurodegenerative changes are well established,
the effects on the brain of low to moderate alcohol intake are unclear.
Subclinical cerebral abnormalities identified on MRI have been associated
with neurocognitive decline and incident stroke. We examined the
associations of alcohol intake with MRI-defined cerebral abnormalities in a
middle-aged, population-based cohort. METHODS: During 1993-1994, a total of
1909 middle-aged adults (40% men and 49% blacks) from 2 communities in the
Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study (Forsyth County, North
Carolina, and Jackson, Miss) underwent a cerebral MRI examination. Trained
neuroradiologists coded the images for the presence of infarction and the
extent (10-point scale) of white matter lesions, ventricular size, and
sulcal size. RESULTS: In logistic regression analyses, there was no
association between alcohol intake and the presence of MRI infarction. In
linear regression analyses, alcohol intake was not associated with white
matter grade. However, intake of each additional alcoholic drink per week
was associated with a 0.01 grade greater ventricular size (P=0.03) and a
0.009 grade greater sulcal size (P=0.02) after adjustment for age, sex,
race, body mass index, smoking, income, sports index, and diabetes. The
positive associations of alcohol intake with ventricular and sulcal size
were consistent across sex and race subgroups. CONCLUSIONS: A protective
effect of low to moderate alcohol intake on cerebral infarction was not
found; moreover, increased alcohol intake was associated with brain
PMID: 14657449 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Am J Geriatr Cardiol. 2004 Jan-Feb;13(1):22-8.
Alcohol consumption and abnormalities of brain structure and vasculature.
Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Beth Israel Deaconess
Medical Center, Boston, MA 02215, USA. ***@caregroup.harvard.edu
Research on how alcohol consumption influences the structure and blood
supply of the brain has generally focused on two primary areas of interest:
the atrophic effect of heavy drinking on brain structure and the effects of
moderate and heavy drinking on the risk of stroke. Heavy alcohol
consumption results in atrophy of gray and white matter, particularly in
the frontal lobes, cerebellum, and limbic structures. Heavy drinking also
raises the risk of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, while light drinking is
associated with a lower risk of ischemic stroke. Recently, the author and
his colleagues studied alcohol consumption and prevalence of subclinical
abnormalities detected by magnetic resonance imaging of the brain among
3376 older adults enrolled in the Cardiovascular Health Study. They found
that alcohol consumption was positively associated with measures of brain
atrophy and inversely associated with subclinical infarcts in a
dose-dependent manner. Alcohol consumption and white matter lesions had a
U-shaped relationship, with the lowest prevalence among those who consumed
1-6 drinks per week. Further research is needed to determine how these
associations interact to influence overall brain function.
PMID: 14724398 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
JAMA. 2003 Mar 19;289(11):1405-13.
Prospective study of alcohol consumption and risk of dementia in older
Mukamal KJ, Kuller LH, Fitzpatrick AL, Longstreth WT Jr, Mittleman MA,
Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Beth Israel Deaconess
Medical Center, 330 Brookline Ave, RO-114, Boston, Mass 02215, USA.
CONTEXT: Alcohol consumption has been associated with complex changes in
cerebral vasculature and structure in older adults. How alcohol consumption
affects the incidence of dementia is less clear. OBJECTIVE: To determine
the prospective relationship of alcohol consumption and risk of dementia
among older adults. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Nested case-control
study of 373 cases with incident dementia and 373 controls who were among
5888 adults aged 65 years and older who participated in the Cardiovascular
Health Study, a prospective, population-based cohort study in 4 US
communities. The controls were frequency-matched on age, death before 1999,
and their attendance of a 1998-1999 clinic. Participants in this study
underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain and cognitive
testing between 1992 and 1994 and were followed up until 1999. MAIN OUTCOME
MEASURES: Odds of incident dementia, ascertained by detailed neurological
and neuropsychological examinations according to average alcohol
consumption, assessed by self-reported intake of beer, wine, and liquor at
2 visits prior to the date of the MRI. RESULTS: Compared with abstention,
the adjusted odds for dementia among those whose weekly alcohol consumption
was less than 1 drink were 0.65 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.41-1.02);
1 to 6 drinks, 0.46 (95% CI, 0.27-0.77); 7 to 13 drinks, 0.69 (95% CI,
0.37-1.31); and 14 or more drinks, 1.22 (95% CI, 0.60-2.49; P for quadratic
term =.001). A trend toward greater odds of dementia associated with
heavier alcohol consumption was most apparent among men and participants
with an apolipoprotein E epsilon4 allele. We found generally similar
relationships of alcohol use with Alzheimer disease and vascular dementia.
CONCLUSIONS: Compared with abstention, consumption of 1 to 6 drinks weekly
is associated with a lower risk of incident dementia among older adults.
PMID: 12636463 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Stroke. 2001 Sep;32(9):1939-46. Links
Alcohol consumption and subclinical findings on magnetic resonance imaging
of the brain in older adults: the cardiovascular health study.Mukamal KJ,
Longstreth WT Jr, Mittleman MA, Crum RM, Siscovick DS.
Division of General Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston,
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Subclinical findings on MRI of the brain are
associated with poorer cognitive and neurological function among older
adults. We sought to determine how alcohol consumption is related to these
findings. METHODS: As part of the Cardiovascular Health Study, 3660 adults
aged 65 years and older underwent MRI of the brain from 1992 to 1994. We
excluded 284 participants with a confirmed history of cerebrovascular
disease. We assessed self-reported intake of beer, wine, and liquor at the
annual clinic visit closest to the date of the MRI and grouped participants
into 6 categories: abstainers, former drinkers, <1 drink weekly, 1 to <7
drinks weekly, 7 to <15 drinks weekly, and >/=15 drinks weekly.
Neuroradiologists assessed white matter grade, infarcts, ventricular size,
and sulcal size in a standardized and blinded manner. We used multivariate
regression to control for sociodemographic and clinical characteristics.
RESULTS: We found a U-shaped relationship between alcohol consumption and
white matter abnormalities. Compared with abstainers, individuals consuming
1 to <7 drinks had an OR of 0.68, and those consuming >/=15 drinks weekly
had an OR of 0.95 (p for quadratic term=0.01). Heavier alcohol consumption
was associated with a lower prevalence of infarcts (OR for >/=15 drinks
weekly relative to abstainers 0.59; P for trend=0.004), but larger
ventricular size (OR for >/=15 drinks weekly relative to abstainers 1.32; P
for trend=0.006) and sulcal size (OR for >/=15 drinks weekly relative to
abstainers 1.53; P for trend=0.007). CONCLUSIONS: Moderate alcohol
consumption is associated with a lower prevalence of white matter
abnormalities and infarcts, thought to be of vascular origin, but with a
dose-dependent higher prevalence of brain atrophy on MRI among older
adults. The extent to which these competing associations influence overall
brain function will require further study.
PMID: 11546878 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]