Guidance from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence on how to protect against Dementia suggests that even drinking within the Government safe limits can increase the risk of Dementia.
Research has found that one third of all Alzheimer’s disease cases can be linked to lifestyle factors, such as, obesity, smoking, drinking and exercise.
Current Government advice suggest that women can drink two to three units of alcohol a day (one 175ml glass of wine) and men three units, without compromising their health.
Middle-aged people should be warned there is “no safe level of alcohol consumption” and advised to curb drinking to reduce their risk of developing dementia, according to new official guidance.
The warning is aimed at those aged 40-64 and comes as the Government reviews alcohol guidelines, which could be published later this year.
In reaching its recommendations, Nice’s Public Health Advisory Committee was told “the overall message should be that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption”.
Its report also suggested drinking alcohol regularly had become a social norm which should be “challenged”. Current official guidance states men should not exceed four units a day, while women can have up to three units.
Figures from NICE show we are living longer than ever, and by 2025, almost a quarter of the UK population will be aged 65 and over.
But the watchdog warned that these years are not always spent in good health.
Professor John Britton, professor of epidemiology, University of Nottingham and Nice guideline development group chairman said: “It is well known that smoking, too much alcohol, inactivity and being overweight is bad for our health, but many people don’t realise that these things can also increase the likelihood of developing dementia and other causes of poor quality of life in older age.
“The evidence we looked at suggested that people can prevent these outcomes by making simple changes in life — stopping smoking, cutting alcohol, being more active and losing weight,” he said. “Even small but regular changes – such as climbing the stairs instead of using an escalator – can have significant effects. ”
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