Finally, good news about alcohol

About 82 per cent of Australian adults consume alcohol, which means that every time a new study comes out detailing the dangers of alcohol for our health, about 82 per cent of us feel slightly more depressed.

Until now.

We’ve uncovered a study that suggests drinking alcohol may actually be good for you. 

It comes out of Brown University, on Rhode Island in the US, bless their little hearts, and it suggests that drinking may help you banish bad memories and remember only the good things.

These researchers say that alcohol “hijacks” the pathway that forms memory. One drink changes this pathway for an hour, while three drinks can change it for 24 hours.

This hijacking affects a gene involved in coding whether a memory is pleasing or unpleasant, and changes a protein the gene makes, which in turn makes you form “craving memories”.

In other words, alcohol replaces bad times with good times, which may explain why we forget being sick or how we actually got home.

Senior author Dr Karla Kaun, an assistant professor of neuroscience at Brown University, told the Daily Mail that she had been interested in why drugs of abuse, be they alcohol or opiates, produce rewarding memories despite being neurotoxins.

“We wanted to understand what the molecular basis of that is and why they cause cravings.”

The team used fruit flies for the study because they are attracted to alcohol and the molecular signals that form their memories of reward and avoidance are similar to humans.

The study found that alcohol affects a gene called the D2-like receptor, which encodes whether a memory is pleasing or unpleasant.

Naturally, the doomsayers – or should I say other health professionals – were quick to respond to any suggestion that alcohol could be good for you.

Addiction experts warned that, while alcohol can make you forget and even ease symptoms such as stress, worry and negative thoughts, the effect wears off in a short time. 

They say that alcohol can actually worsen symptoms associated with mood disorders, such as depression, because alcohol is a depressant. 

At least, as an older Australian, according to surveys, you are more likely than any other demographic age group to be comfortable with your alcoholic consumption.

And the least likely group to get drunk.

Well done for being so responsible.

Are you a responsible drinker? Are you truthful when your doctor asks about your alcohol consumption?

Related articles:
Alcohol consumption slides
Alcohol’s fatal attraction
Alcohol linked to cancer risk

Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.

YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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