back to article Booze makes you clever, having none makes you stupid

Drinking wine makes you brainier, according to the latest research - and going on the wagon makes you stupider, at least in the case of women. The news comes in a new study carried out by boffins in Scandinavia. Some 5,033 Norwegians were followed over some seven years in which both their alcohol consumption and cognitive …


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  1. Miek


    So, Alcohol is still extremely harmful, what good is a few extra brain cells if you have no liver?

    1. Ben Oldham
      Jobs Horns

      Oh Mick...

      Ask Steve Jobs...

      1. Miek

        Who's Mick

        Who's Mick ?

    2. bluesxman

      RE: SO

      It says "moderate". Perhaps if you drank a little more wine, your improved cognitive skills would have helped you to spot that.

      1. Miek

        My Cognitive Skills are fine thanks ;)

        The post is required, and must contain letters.

        1. jack 6

          Seeing is believing

          So this is where you are hiding away?

    3. Code Monkey


      Alcoholism is harmful, as it getting so wankered you can't get home or whatever.

      In moderation it's fine and quite fun if you ask me.

    4. monosodium

      Re: SO

      Most studies into alcohol show that moderate intake of alcohol is good for general health & longevity.

      /FAIL - because Miek just did...

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Social aspect?

        Is that due to the social nature of drinking? Is simply spending time relaxing with close friends far more conducive to a sane state of mind than going home, tee-total, spending all night writing comment on websites...oh wait a minute...

    5. wim
      Thumb Down

      very scientific reaction

      research shows something you don't like and your reaction is to ignore the research and keep your previous ideas intact.

      Let me guess, you are a politician ?

      1. Miek


        Nope, guess again

    6. Anonymous Coward


      ...if you read the article, it refers to "moderate wine consumption", which is quite unlikely to deprive you of your liver.

    7. Adam Salisbury

      Moderation, moderation, moderation

      I'm pretty sure they're not condoning vodka on you're cornflakes but moderate consumption of wine (especially red) has long been associated with positive health benefits.

      Of course if you like pounding said liver with Pan-Galactic Gargleblasters then the cranial benefits may indeed be outweighed by an acute alcohol-induced death!

      < Beer: To grease my brain boss...honest!

    8. Anonymous Coward

      The survey proves it's nothing to do with alcohol

      "Other types of booze had no effects either way"

      Also "Alcohol abstention was associated with lower cognitive performance in women" again this may less to do with alcohol and more to do with the reasons why the women abstained.

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Did you even read the article? The word "moderate" is used four times and there's plenty of other evidence that *moderate* wine intake is more beneficial than damaging. Having a glass of wine in the evening is not going to cause your liver to fail.

      Going out three times a week and drinking 1/2 bottle of Tequila on the other hand (speaking from experience) will likely have a bad effect on you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        '1/2 bottle of Tequila'



      2. JC 2

        @ *Sigh*

        Funny, I didn't see anywhere in that article that it's been proven that 1/2 bottle of Tequila 3 times a week will have a bad effect.

        Then again, I didn't read anywhere in the article that they had a control group that was drinking grape juice instead of wine or total abstinence from grape fortified beverages, so it seems a bit premature to me to conclude one way or the other about the alcohol in the beverage.

    10. Anonymous Coward

      Thanks ...

      But i'm not taking the medical opinion of someone who thinks alcohol somehow creates brain cells

    11. Ken 16 Silver badge

      What good is a liver

      if you've got no alcohol?

    12. ElNumbre


      Please, don't feed the troll wine...

    13. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Extemely Harmful, eh?

      Care to back that up with some evidence? Any evidence? No? Okay then.

      I don't think anyone is claiming that excessive alcohol is good for you. The human liver is actually remarkably good at detoxifying small regular doses of alcohol with relatively few ill effects.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Dealing with rejection

    This correlation works for me! So all my dating failures with women, were not down to them, not having enough alcohol but because they were stupid. Cool!!! make me feel better.

  3. Jimbo 6

    Nice to have some good news for a change

    I'll drink to that - doctor's orders, you understand, not because I enjoy it.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Old news..........

    It's a known fact that Alcohol kills brain cells, but it's safe to assume that, as is common in nature, it will kill off the weak, slowest ones first.

    Lions kill the slow feeble wildebeest, Alcohol kills the slow feeble brain cells.

    Ergo Alcohol actually makes you more clever.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      I *think* you were joking

      But the claim that alcohol kills brain cells has no scientific basis and the idea likely originated from advocates of the Temperance Movement:

  5. Peter Mount

    This is what I want to hear

    So I should keep on with my usual daily lunch in the pub then ;-)

  6. Geoff Campbell Silver badge


    Two cases of wine a week should make me a fricking genius! I'll get started now.


  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The ascendancy of the chavettes is surely nigh!

    Romford on a saturday night should therefore be the centre of our academic universe as coupled with this article which implies anyone "going equipped" for a quickie is additionally smart, we should be leading the world.

  8. cpng

    Have you got cause and effect the right way round?

    Seems to me stupid women do not drink at all and clever men drink moderately.

    1. Nextweek
      Thumb Up

      Thank you

      Some sound scientific words, I would also like to see a link to the data from which the conclusions were drawn.

      Or is that too much to ask in this Internet age?

  9. Anonymous Coward


    Now the middle class alcoholics have another excuse to sink some wine and neglect their kids. Besides, they haven't got a problem because they're *middle class*.

  10. Rogerborg

    Smart, educated people tend to drink wine, you say?

    Also, having a seven toed baby causes you to sleep with your first cousin nine months in the past.

  11. The Other Steve
    Thumb Up

    Evidence based policy fallacy

    "Presumably that's authoritative enough for anyone, and the present swingeing taxes on booze in the UK - with their devastating effects on the nation's health, intelligence, economic viability etc - will now cease"

    Ah Lewis, perhaps you need to imbibe a little more, for that is not how the UK makes policy on psychoactive substances. For the record, here is the policy making process in it's entirety :

    while(1) {

    Read_Daily_Mail(); *

    Formulate_Policy(); *


    If it were otherwise, how is it that we keep hearing policy makers banging on about how Britain's town centres have become "no go areas" at weekends due to alcohol ? I mean, I've been into my town centre on a weekend, and it appears that quite literally thousands of people do in fact go there and that this is actually _because_ of alcohol, without which there would be no one there at all, because all the pubs would be shut.

    * Sharp eyed observers will note that the same trivial bits of NLP and Markov chaining encapsulated here can replace not only the entire policy making infrastructure but also the Daily Mail itself. Sharp eyed observers with tin foil hats may already suspect that several Daily Mail columnists have been coded thus for some time now.

  12. Richard Barnes

    Correlation versus Causation

    You know the rest.

  13. Just Thinking

    Self selecting set

    Presumably they didn't select people at random, and somehow force them to drink (or not drink) varying quantities of different alcoholic beverages?

    That's why it is an association, not a causal link. Could well be that more intelligent people prefer wine to beer. Or that being a bit thick helps you cope with lfe's pressures without hitting the bottle. Doesn't mean the alcohol made them more or less intelligent.

    In any case, it is only an association between what these people SAY they drink and their intelligence. Saying you drink the odd glass of wine sounds better that saying you abstain (anti-social wierdo), or saying that you swill down pints of white cider with a takeaway every night.

  14. Eponymous Cowherd

    Cause or Effect?

    ***"Drinking wine makes you brainier, according to the latest research - and going on the wagon makes you stupider, at least in the case of women."***

    Does wine make you brainy, or are brainy people more likely to drink wine?

    I imagine that a similar study of White Lightning would reveal that it turns people into chavs....

  15. Lloyd

    AC presumably is Alcoholic Classism in this instance

    "Now the middle class alcoholics have another excuse to sink some wine and neglect their kids. Besides, they haven't got a problem because they're *middle class*."

    Wow, how heavily do you stoop with that chip on your shoulder? Do you even understand the concept of alcoholism? You do realise that functioning alcoholics hold down jobs but still need to balance their drinking with their family life in pretty much all cases neglecting their children. Alcoholics are usually pretty selfish about things like other people, so where exactly does class come into it? Are you saying that working class alcoholics don't neglect their children? Or perhaps that the alcoholic aristocracy treat their families right? What a load of twaddle, no wonder you won't post your name.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    actual paper

    Moderate wine consumption is associated with better cognitive test results: a 7 year follow up of 5033 subjects in the Tromsø Study - Arntzen - 2010 - Acta Neurologica Scandinavica

  17. Peter Martin

    Swingeing taxes on booze in UK tax?

    Interesting the study was carried out using Norwegians - they have one of the highest levels of taxation on all alcohol, so they can probably only afford to drink modestly anyway, plus they are probably better off folk as well. Last time I was there a bottle of wine cost over £40 in a modest hotel.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Survival of the fittest......

    I've been saying this for years, it’s down to simple deduction.

    Everyone knows drinking kills brain cells, everyone also knows that in nature its down to survival of the fittest, so effectively drinking is killing off the weak brain cells making room for the new brain cells that have the potential to be much harder working than the previous occupant of the area of brain matter.


    PS can i forward the motion of a meerkat icon?

  19. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Did they correct

    For the effects of pregnancy?

    Not meaning to be a sexist here, but several women I know who have had children, by their own admission, feel ditzier after their pregnancy. probably something do to with the unborn child drawing nutrition from the mother's body.

    At the same time, pregnant women are advised to not drink alcohol, so it doesn't take a great stretch of the imagination to suggest that at least some of those women in the study who gave up alcohol did so because of pregnancy.

    If they didn't correct for this effect, it could also account for the gender bias in the results. I doubt the basic neurochemistry of men and women differs that much, if at all.

  20. Miek

    Re: Alcohol Is extremely dangerous

    Glad to see that all your "Moderate Wine Drinking" has helped you to identify my facetious comment.

    My remark was mainly due the very un-scientific assumptions and conclusions presented by the researches, which several posters have pointed out.

    The reference to me being a politician is about as close as anyone came to "getting" my joke ;)

  21. live2give

    Wasters want to get wasted.

    In a nation of binge drinkers, let them kill themselves off. We will live in a democracy if they want ot drink themselves to death go for it we live in exciting times, Where pedo files can roam the street, criminals can menace law abiding citizens with no fear of justice. We have a great welfare system that promotes and payfor these types of life styles! why get a job when you can stay ont he dole, get pissed have kids(a result of drunken fornication) and get a free house.

    Alcohol, best invention ever?

    1. The Other Steve

      Pedo what now ?

      Welcome, Daily Mail readers.

  22. The Indomitable Gall

    This report was clearly written by a sober woman.

    "Moderate wine consumption was independently associated with better performance on all cognitive tests in both men and women. [...] Alcohol abstention was associated with lower cognitive performance in women."

    So drinking wine makes men and women smarter, but abstention only makes women thicker?

    This does not compute.

    Give that researcher a nice glass of beaujolais.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      This does not compute

      "So drinking wine makes men and women smarter, but abstention only makes women thicker?

      This does not compute."

      Committing the basic error of attempting to use logic when considering a survey involving women.

  23. John F***ing Stepp

    Finally something that I am an expert on.

    Then I realize that I am a bit drunk and well.

    No really, drink a lot of Coffee a whole f*ck load of coffee.

    I cannot tell you how much coffee is important to you if you drink.

    So why do you drink.

    Different reasons, sometimes all you have to watch on TV is the history channel (all Hitler all the damn time) or your wife wants the litter pan changed.

    (Litter pan, three drink rule, trust me on this one.)

    You have to get up to go to work.

    Worse, you are at work.

    Worse still you have to go home.

    (litter pan, three drink rule.)

    Why do we drink?

    Wrong question.

    How do you not?

    1. Yossarian

      Title? What title?

      amanfrommars? Is that you? Do you have a new (slightly more intoxicated) alter ego?

      If not I must demand that someone goes to mars and asks him what he thinks he is doing! I miss the old fella, it's been ages since I've read his mad droolings.

      Anyway, of course alcohol makes you smarter, just nobody understands you due to the way it affects your vocal chords. Then you've forgotten all the clever junk you came up by morning due to the hangover that makes you stupid again.

      The one with the label saying "Made in Mars" and the bottle of Scotch in the pocket, please good sir.

  24. Dave Bell

    Wine, but not beer?

    OK, so we may have to be careful about comparing quantities as well, but isn't one obvious possible experiment to see if grape juice has the same effect as wine?

  25. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    The true danger of alcohol

    This is why I never touch the stuff. I'm already so damn brilliant that alcohol would no doubt elevate my intelligence to a superhuman level, leaving me with no rational choice but to take on the tiresome job of ruling the world.

  26. Hugh Jorgen


    Homer no function well beer without.........

    Bottoms up.

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