While too much alcohol can lead to addiction and other problems, decades of research have connected low and moderate drinking to health benefits, from heart fitness to better cognition.
Let’s revisit some of the most common positive effects attributed to alcohol over the years and check whether they’re still supported by hard data.
A 1997 study showed no cognitive effect, positive or negative, from alcohol use. As early as 2011, however, long-term research began to show that moderate social drinking could be linked to lower rates of dementia and cognitive decline.
A 2019 study showed higher levels of brain function in people who reported low to moderate drinking habits. With over two decades of data from almost 20,000 survey participants, the researchers discovered that people who drank low to moderate amounts of alcohol had better mental status, word recall and vocabulary than even non-drinkers.
However, a 2018 study