Wine drunk in moderation can reduce the risk of developing depression, research finds.
Moderate alcohol intake can have a similar protective effect on depression as that found for heart disease.
Professor Miguel A. Martínez-González, one of the study’s authors, said:
“Lower amounts of alcohol intake might exert protection in a similar way to what has been observed for coronary heart disease.
In fact, it is believed that depression and coronary heart disease share some common disease mechanisms.”
To reach these conclusions researchers followed over 5,500 people for between 5 and 7 years.
At the start of the study none had suffered from depression and did not have alcohol-related problems.
People naturally drank varying amounts and different drinks, but the most commonly consumed beverage was wine.
The results showed that the lowest rates of depression were seen in those who were light to moderate drinkers.
Light to moderate drinkers had between two and seven small glasses of wine per week.
The researchers adjusted for other factors that could have been important, such as social factors, diet and smoking.
Scientists think some of the protective effects are provided by resveratrol and other phenolic compounds in the wine.
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal BMC Medicine (Geo et al., 2013).
Psychological benefits of alcohol
→ This post is part of a series on the psychological benefits of alcohol:
- The Type of Alcohol Linked To Better Cognitive Function
- The Number of Alcoholic Drinks That Makes You Look More Attractive
- This Much Alcohol Reduces Alzheimer’s Risk
- Depression Risk Can Be Reduced By This Very Pleasurable Method
- Light To Moderate Alcohol Intake Linked To Better Memory In Later Years
- The Celebratory Drink That Could Improve Memory