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Could Booze Dissolve Your Blues?

New research suggests that moderate drinking may reduce depression in women.

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By Valerie Tejeda

12/28/12

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Drinking away one's sorrows may sound like a recipe for a vicious cycle, but a new study suggests that, for some women, moderate drinking may actually reduce the risk of depression. Researchers at the University of Navarra's Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health in Spain followed 13,619 male and female university graduates around 38-years-old.They found that women who drank one or two glasses of wine per day had a 38% lower risk for depression. For men, however, depression was not impacted by drinking. Some researchers believe that this effect can be attributed to resveratrol, a compound found in red wines. Scientists at a recent conference at The University of Leicester, in England claimed that the compound could not only help prevent depression, but also lower the rate of bowel cancer, heart diseases and diabetes. "At the University of Leicester, we want to see how resveratrol might work to prevent cancer in humans," said conference organizer Karen Brown, Ph.D. "Having shown in our lab experiments that it can reduce tumor development, we are now concentrating on identifying the mechanisms of how resveratrol works in human cells." However, health officials urge women not to turn to the bottle for a happiness boost, since more research is needed to determine why and how moderate alcohol exactly may aid with depression prevention. The last time word spread about the anti-aging benefits of red wine, it turned out to be too good to be true.

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