Cutting down on alcohol is often recommended when it comes to making healthy lifestyle choices, but you should think twice before ditching the drink altogether. Scientists have suggested that an alcoholic tipple may well help you to live beyond the age of 90.
Researchers at the University of California have been studying the effects of a couple of glasses of wine or beer an evening over the course of 15 years. They have discovered that this type of drinking in moderation could actually lead to living longer.
The 90+ Study began in 2003 as a way to look into the factors that mean some people reach their 90s and others don’t. It considered 1,700 nonagenarians and their daily habits, discovering that people who drank two glasses of wine or beer a day had their chances of experiencing an early death decreased by 18 per cent.
Dr Claudia Kawas, a specialist in neurology from the University of California, spoke about the study at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference in Austin, Texas. She said: “I have no explanation for it, but I do firmly believe that modest drinking improves longevity.”
Carrying a little bit of extra weight without being obese was also a bonus for living longer. Being slightly overweight saw the test subjects have a three per cent better chance of avoiding an early death. Regular exercise and taking part in a hobby were also found to be beneficial for a longer life.
Just 15 to 45 minutes of daily light physical activity, such as walking, cut the risk of an early death by 11 per cent. Meanwhile, spending two hours a day on a hobby saw the elderly less likely to pass away prematurely, alongside helping to make them feel more fulfilled.
Of course, the secret behind superagers – those who continue to have the memory and attention span of someone much younger – is down to a number of factors. Among them is genes, which nobody has any power to change. Lifestyle habits, however, can be adjusted, and if that means raising a glass or two to a longer life, then that’s fine by us.