In the headlines this week we’ve heard how drinking too much – or too little – may be linked to dementia with scientists sharing their thoughts. In other news: salt may not be as bad for us as originally thought and a Mother whale carries her child with her for 16 days after it’s passing.
Could Drinking Help Reduce Dementia?
It’s common knowledge that excessive alcohol consumption and “binge drinking” is bad for your brain, but could drinking in moderation reduce your risk of contracting Alzheimer’s or dementia? A study in the British Medical Journal tracked British civil servants for over 20 years (beginning in the 80s). The researchers use medical records, use of mental health services and more to determine whether the participants had signs of dementia and assessed their alcohol consumption alongside.
Our main finding is that among those drinking above 14 units of alcohol per week, the risk of dementia increases as the number of alcohol units consumed increases”
Ultimately, saying that moderate drinking is okay is not strictly the rule as scientists are sceptical. The study finds an association between alcohol consumption and dementia, but this is only observational and shouldn’t be interpreted as a direct link, nor medical advice. Research also suggests that some alcohols in small quantities per day can benefit the brain, but similarly to the previous study reported, this is not medical fact.
Salt is Not as Bad as Previously Thought
The NHS recommended daily intake of sodium – or salt – is no more than 6g a day, which is around 1 teaspoon. It is advised that any more than this can increase the risk of heart attack. But, a new study at a university in Canada has found that anything under two and a half teaspoons is safe. For those who eat more than this, it is possible to balance out the health risk by ensuring plenty of fruit an vegetables are consumed.
In places such as China, salt intakes are higher as they tend to consume more salty foods due to their standard diet and culture.; whereas in most of Europe and North America the guidelines may be unnecessary.
Our study adds to growing evidence to suggest that, at moderate intake, sodium may have a beneficial role in cardiovascular health, but a potentially more harmful role when intake is very high or very low. This is the relationship we would expect for any essential nutrient and health. Our bodies need essential nutrients like sodium, but the question is how much”
So, taking this evidence into account salt may not be as bad for us as we originally thought. Like most foods, as long as they are eaten in moderation your health shouldn’t be comprised.
Grieving Mother Whale Carries Dead Calf
A grieving killer whale has been pictured recently carrying its dead calf for over 16 days of its passing. Killer whales commonly carry their dead calves with them for as long as week but scientists believe that this Mother has set a new record.
It is believed that the calf died in late July and both Mother and child were pictured two weeks later in Vancouver, still together. Killer whales are considered an endangered species with their main food source – Chinook salmon – on a dramatic decline in recent years. As little as a third of the Southern Resident killer whales born in the last 20 years survive, with the amount of Mothers carrying their calves for longer and longer on the rise.