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Drinking wine is key to a bright old age
By Robert Whymant       

        Drinking wine in moderation improves the IQ and may boost mental agility in old people, according to Japanese researchers.

        A study of the effects of alcohol on the middle-aged and elderly found- the average IQ of men who drink wine ( whether made from grapes or rice) was 3.3 points higher than that of men Who do not imbibe.

         Similarly , the IQ of women drinkers showed an improvement of 2. 5 points  over their teetotal sisters. The findings are part of an ongoing study by Japan's National Institute for Longevity into the links between human intelligence and what we eat and drink.

The tests measured general knowledge, powers of judgment and concentration in drinkers and non-drinkers over 40,all living in Aichi prefecture, central Japan, and sharing the same income level -- roughly 50, 000 a year -- and educational background. All were university graduates.

But while wine-drinkers appeared to be brighter, the same was not true of those who drank beer, shochu ( a local gin) and whisky.

"The benefits of wine and sake [ rice wine] in 



 raising IQ could be due to substances they contain, such as polyphenol, which are believed to slow the ageing process, " Hiroshi Shimokata, head of epidemiology research, said.

       It was premature to conclude, he added, that drinking wine or sake slowed the deterioration of brain functions in the elderly ,or warded off senility. The research does ,however, suggest that this is one way to stay mentally alert longer.

But there is a sobering caveat: drinking too much may make you dimmer. "People who drink more than 540 milli-litres [a little over a pint] of sake or wine a day had lower intelligence quotients than those who did not drink at all, " Hiroshi Shimokata said, "Moderation is very important.





























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