Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Beer and Liquor might have opposite effects on Parkinson's Disease
good news came from the American Neurological Association 136th annual meeting. This large prospective, cohort study followed 1113 people with Parkinson's disease and 305,785 individuals without. What they found was that people who drank 1-2 beers a day had a reduced risk of developing Parkinson's disease, while any amount of hard alcohol increased your risk. Wine consumption had a similar risk reduction as beer. The reasons for this were not clear, but it appears to be independent of ethanol. Researchers noted that beer contains more purines than liquor and wine. These purines (proteins) may increase the amount of urate in the blood. Urate levels in the blood have been linked to gout, they also have been shown to lower the risk of developing Parkinson's disease. While this is unpublished preliminary evidence, the findings are comforting as I order another round. Perhaps Michael Jackson should have drank more beer and less whiskey.