Two new studies this week have revealed a couple of surprising ways to protect yourself against dementia

If you do regular voluntary work and drink a glass of wine with your dinner you could be lowering your risk of developing dementia, according to the latest scientific research.

Here’s what the research revealed:

  • Scientists at the University of Calgary analysed 1,001 retired Swedish citizens over five years and concluded that volunteering in your local community on a regular basis (even if it’s only for one hour every week) keeps your mind sharp and your brain engaged. Interestingly, sporadic volunteering did not seem to offer any protection and those who never volunteered were around 2.4 times more likely to develop dementia. Researchers also found other benefits to volunteering; it can give a sense of structure to the day, widen social circles, and make us feel we contribute to society.
  • The effect of alcohol on the brain has been a contentious issue for many years, resulting in several conflicting studies and much confusion amongst ordinary people. However, a new analysis of recent research on the subject has revealed good news for wine lovers. For Chinese researchers have found that one glass of wine per day with food, leads to a lower risk of dementia than total abstinence. Importantly, wine was the only drink that this seemed to apply to (heavy beer drinkers have a higher risk of dementia).We’re not saying to go out and drink to prevent dementia,’ says Dr Curtis Ellison, from the International Scientific Forum on Alcohol Research (ISFAR). ’However, if you decide that you’re going to have wine with your meal every night, you can know that you’re getting a side benefit.’