. Alcohol consumption and risk of dementia: the Rotterdam Study. Lancet. 2002 Jan 26;359(9303):281-6. PubMed.

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  1. Alcohol and Dementia: An Antioxidant Mechanism? Numerous studies have shown the health benefits of light to moderate alcoholic beverage consumption and this was recently extended to a reduced risk of dementia (Ruitenberg et al., 2002). While many have ascribed the benefit of alcohol to the polyphenolic microantioxidants of some beverages, the benefits of alcoholic beverages are not limited to red wine (de Lorimier, 2000) or beer (Denke, 2000) and are even found in spirit drinks (Trevithick et al., 1999). Important to note is that alcohol itself is a powerful antioxidant (Chance et al., 1950) and further can lead to induction of other antioxidant systems, e.g., uric acid (Yoshida et al., 2001), vitamin E (Gorinstein et al., 1997), and glutathione (Rouach et al., 1997). Seen with the beneficial effects of anti-inflammatories, vitamin E, lipoic acid, estrogen, and a number of other antioxidants, these data showing the benefit of alcohol add further weight to the critical role of oxidant balance and metabolism in the etiology of Alzheimer disease. - comment by George Perry and Mark A. Smith

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