So says Professor Leon Simons of the University of New South Wales, whose study
tracking 3000 people for two decades was just published in the Medical Journal of Australia. What he actually said was, “A drink a day can keep dementia away.” He found that one alcoholic drink per day cut the risk of dementia by 34 per cent. And you should garden while you drink. That’s not an exact quote either, but daily gardening also reduced the risk of dementia, by 36 percent.
“Daily gardening is a complex variable, and we can’t really isolate the ‘active ingredient’,” reported fellow researcher John McCallum of Victoria University in Melbourne. "It’s a combination of being physically active, eating the good fresh food that they grow, and having a sense of future and purpose." A daily walk was helpful too. On the down side, risk factors associated with dementia included depression, heart and lung disease, and aging — and the average age of the participants was a mere 60. The study was started in 1986, when, in Professor Simons words, "no one was interested in those over 60".