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Wine and Cheese May Prevent Cognitive Decline

Tracy Davenport Tracy Davenport
Food & Beverages
14th December 2020
Wine and Cheese May Prevent Cognitive Decline
More research is needed to draw any definitive conclusions (Getty Images).

The Claim

Consuming more wine and cheese prevents cognitive decline.

Emerging story

A research study from Iowa State University is being shared on social media that claims consuming wine and cheese may help prevent cognitive decline. 

Misbar’s Analysis

The research being shared online was conducted at Iowa State University and published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Researchers analyzed genetic and health data from 1,787 aging adults through a biomedical database available to researchers worldwide. Participants had completed a fluid intelligence test and answered questions about their food and alcohol consumption. The fluid intelligence test analysis provides an in-time snapshot of an individual's ability to "think on the fly," according to ScienceDaily.com

Researchers found that cheese, by far, was shown to be the most protective food against age-related cognitive problems, even late into life. They also discovered that the daily consumption of alcohol, particularly red wine, was related to improvements in cognitive function. 

According to the lead investigator, Auriel Willette in the EurekAlert.com, "I was pleasantly surprised that our results suggest that responsibly eating cheese and drinking red wine daily are not just good for helping us cope with our current COVID-19 pandemic, but perhaps also dealing with an increasingly complex world that never seems to slow down." 

While the findings may seem like welcome news to most, more research is needed to draw any definitive conclusions. The research did show a direct correlation between wine and cheese consumption and cognitive function. However, it is important to remember that wine and cheese consumption are also tied to higher income and therefore better overall health. According to The Guardian.com, eight out of 10 upper-income and highly educated adults say they consume alcohol while only half of lower-income Americans say they drink. According to the same Guardian poll, rich people said they preferred wine over beer. While the participants of the Iowa State study were from the UK, there is an economic factor that must be considered in the findings since those with higher income are more likely to drink wine and enjoy better long-term health including cognitive functioning

In order to determine if wine and cheese make a difference in cognitive health, randomized clinical studies are needed that can tease out potential biases such as participant wealth. 

Misbar’s Classification


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