Want to keep those blues away? Well, a new study shows that moderate wine consumption could be associated with a reduced possibility of depression in older adults. According to the World Health Organization, around 121 million people across the globe struggle with some form of depression. In the US that number is almost seven percent of the U.S. population over 18. But now, according to a recent Spanish study, a glass or two of vino may be just the ticket for increased happiness and less depression.
University of Navarra researchers in Spain found that people over the age of 55 who drank between two and seven glasses of wine a week face 32 percent less likely chance of becoming clinically depressed. This was compared with those who drank more and non-drinkers. The study, which was conducted with over 5,500 men and women between the ages of 55 and 80 who were light and moderate drinkers. The seven-year study followed alcohol consumption, mental health and lifestyle. None of the participants reported having depression at the start of the study.
These depression results even appeared after multiple lifestyle factors like smoking, marital status, age, physical activity level, and diet, were controlled for. These can all be factors in depression for many people. One of the studies’ architects, Dr. Martinez-Gonzalez, reported that a compound found in grapes could help shield parts of the brain from inflammatory developments involved in depression.
It has been previous reported that compounds such as resveratrol, which found in red wine, can be beneficial to physical health and protect the brain. According to the Mayo Clinic, these antioxidants may also help prevent heart disease by increasing good cholesterol levels and guarding arteries against harm.
The social presence of wine has also been thought to have something to do with helping depression as well. Most people who enjoy wine do so in gatherings of loved ones and friends. According the study “(the) older, traditional Spanish Mediterranean population, that consumed chiefly wine, and mainly in a context of socialization with family or friends.” Lives full of social engagements are already well-accepted factors in reducing the risk of depression.
It is also thought hat people who drink moderate amounts of red wine are often married and physically active, which are significant elements in preventing depression. These factors could all influence the reported study results. The typically Mediterranean drinking behavior where wine is had with meals and binge drinking non-existent was also shown to be most favorable.
Scientists are quick to point out that it is moderate amounts of wine that have been found to be beneficial and that if you not drink, this should not be a reason to start. On the flip side, drinking too much alcohol of any sort is a leading cause of depression as well.
Eli Madrone writes about health, travel and food and lives in Portland, Oregon. He learned about wine and health benefits from Bethany OR Dentist Dr.Nathan Austria.