Wine: The Depression-Fighting Depressant

A new study shows that drinking two to seven glasses per week has mental health benefits.

Moderate Wine Consumption Lowers Risk of Depression

Another reason to enjoy wine—it can lower your risk of depression. (Photo: Bob Henriques/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Willy Blackmore is TakePart’s Food editor.

Everyone who owns that cutesy, annoying sign that says, “Wine a Bit...You’ll Feel Better” has been validated. Not in terms of taste in design, mind you, but rather in regards to mental health. A new Spanish study has shown that moderate consumption of wine, a depressant, is associated with a lower risk of depression.

The seven-year study followed 5,505 men and women between the ages of 55 and 80 who were at high risk for depression. Participants were part of the larger PPREDIMED study: Prevention with Mediterranean Diet, which looks at the health benefits of things like eating lots of olive oil and drinking wine. While those who drank heavily were more prone to depression, the study found, “wine consumption in the range of two to seven drinks/week was significantly associated with lower rates of depression.

As detrimental as being a problem drinker can be—there’s cardiovascular disease to consider here too—the researchers want to differentiate between alcoholic-level consumption and “non-problematic alcohol consumption.” Which, when we’re talking wine, may be as beneficial as heavy drinking is dangerous: “Moderate alcohol intake, especially alcohol from wine, has been repeatedly reported to be inversely associated with the incidence of cardiovascular disease. Some of the responsible mechanisms for this inverse association are likely to be involved also in a reduced risk of depression.”

So while the medical excuse for popping the cork on a bottle of wine on any given weeknight used to be all about Resveratrol, more recent studies haven’t exactly upheld the notion that the compound actually increases longevity. So if wine’s taste merits aren’t enough for you, potentially avoiding heart disease and depression is a pretty compelling argument for having a glass of wine with dinner almost every night of the week.

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