Modest drinking, good friends help you live longer, study finds

Meaningful relationships with friends, family have major benefits

By Mary Claire Patton - Digital Content Curator

SAN ANTONIO - As the number of centenarians grows, so does the interest in why people are living longer and what the secret is.

Children born in the United States today are expected, on average, to live to age 103, and by the middle of the century, the U.S. will have 8-10 million people age 90 and older, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Recently, scientists have discovered a correlation between moderate alcohol consumption and life longevity.

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Researchers discovered that people who drink approximately two glasses of beer or wine every day were 18 percent less likely to experience premature death, the Independent reported.

Claudia Kawas, a professor of neurology associate director of the Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders at the University of California, Irvine, spoke about her research at an AAAS conference in Austin on Saturday.

Kawas is the lead investigator of "The 90+ Study," which has been testing and tracking subjects for the past 15 years to learn about their brains and what might be responsible for living longer.

“I have no explanation for it, but I do firmly believe that modest drinking improves longevity,” Kawas stated at the conference.

Kawas spoke about adding more years to people’s lives than adding quality but she also said, “there’s a remarkable core of individuals we see who maintain excellent cognitive skills and often motor skills."

While good genes do play a part, researchers also discovered that close, meaningful relationships with friends and family have major benefits for healthy cognitive function in the older generations.

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“There are brain benefits of having good friends,” research associate professor at the Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer’s Disease Center Emily Rogalski said.

There you have it — good friends and a couple glasses of vino are the secrets to aging well.

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