Every now and then, a study will come out that claims having a drink isn’t just good for R&R, it’s good for your health. Maybe it’s a claim that a glass of red wine a day will help you live longer, or a body purifying drink you should keep on hand. Regardless of the details, the studies keep some people around the country raising a toast to their well-being.
2017 was witness to a slew of studies focused on the positive effects of alcohol, from reducing the impact of colon cancer to acting as an efficient pain reliever. Here are 10 times that science said drinking is good for you in 2017.
Latvian researchers at the University of Sigulda found that gin increased the metabolic rate in mice by 17 percent. The faster your metabolism, the easier it is for you to shed a couple extra pounds. The reason for the April study’s findings apparently lies in the key component of gin: antioxidant-packed juniper berries. Time to stock up on the London Dry.
You should feel good about your nightly red wine nightcap. In May, scientists at the Institute of Food Science Research in Madrid found that brain cells exposed to limited amounts (8.5 ounces daily) of red wine handled oxidative stress better than sober brain cells. In theory, those wined-up brain cells are more prepared to fight off Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.
An active mind is a healthy mind, and if you want your brain to be really active, you need to drink some wine. In April, Yale neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd told NPR that the flavor of wine “engages more of our brain than any other human behavior.” Put down that book and grab a glass of vino.
In a wide ranging November study of 30,000 people, scientists found that spirits “elicit the majority of positive emotions when consumed.” Some of those positive emotions include feeling energized, confident and sexy.
Grape skins and seeds contain resveratrol, a popular compound among scientists looking for ways wine is good for you. In June, researchers at Penn State found that resveratrol and grape seed extract take out cancer stem cells in the colon. They propose that a pill of the two—a wine pill, if you will—could help prevent colon cancer.
It’s easy to love exploring the drinking culture in other countries, and it turns out that the drinking culture can also help you communicate better with the locals. In October, researches from three English universities released a study showing that it’s easier to speak a second language after a few drinks. Just don’t explore too much of the drinking culture. The positives are negated after more than a couple drinks.
Chalk up another win for resveratrol. In March, scientists from the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute found that resveratrol preserves muscle fibers and slows the effects of aging. The main finding was that it slowed neural synapse degeneration.
It’s not in your head, having a drink really will make your pain subside. A study in May found that a couple cocktails is a better pain reliever than the likes of Advil, Tylenol and Ibuprofen. Grab a Martini and kiss that aching back goodbye.
As you get older, your brain loses cells and shrinks. A Mediterranean diet—including a good bit of wine—keeps your brain from getting too small, according to a January study from scientists at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. All that brain engagement from wine drinking really pays off.
Ice can be filled with bacteria that, in turn, can cause infections. Luckily for whiskey drinkers, their favorite tipple is the answer to a safe ice-filled drink. A study in December found that 31 species of bacteria were found in bar ice, and whiskey killed them all. Other spirits killed off some of that bacteria, but whiskey was only one that cleared out the whole bacteria crew.