Wine Can Help Cleanse Your Brain Of Waste And Toxins, According To Science

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Plenty of people lean into the vino to unwind after a long, stressful day. But it turns out that the beloved beverage does more than help clear the mind of anxious thoughts — it literally cleanses the mind of toxins, according to new research from the University of Rochester.

The study, which was performed on mice, observed the effects of both acute and chronic alcohol intake on the glymphatic system (the brain’s process for cleaning itself). Unsurprisingly, animals that were exposed to high levels of alcohol over an extended period of time exhibited high levels of inflammation, especially in the cells that are known to be important regulators for the glymphatic system. Their cognitive abilities and motor functions suffered as well.

However, mice that were exposed to lower alcohol consumption levels (the equivalent of two and a half drinks per day, to be exact) revealed less inflammation in this area of the brain. Their glymphatic systems were actually better at clearing waste from their brains than even the control group of mice, which was not exposed to any alcohol at all. And because the alcohol amount was so minor, their cognitive and motor skills remained perfectly intact.

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“Prolonged intake of excessive amounts of ethanol is known to have adverse effects on the central nervous system,” lead study author Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., said in a statement. “However, in this study we have shown for the first time that low doses of alcohol are potentially beneficial to brain health, namely it improves the brain’s ability to remove waste.”

This isn’t the first study of its kind to find a connection between lower levels of drinking and a reduction of other health risks, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. But it is interesting to see that drinking in moderation, as opposed to not drinking at all, is what boasts the biggest health benefits, especially in regards to brain health.

So go ahead and raise a glass to your cleansing brain as you cozy up on your couch tonight. You deserve it.