Russian Finance Minister Alexey Kudrin drinks a glass of wine during a reception at a G8 finance ministers meeting.
Credit: Miguel Villagran

A new study has confirmed what everyone already knew - namely, that drinking can help with depression.

The Spanish study stressed that drinking wine in moderation may help depression but too much drinking might be a sign of it.

Critics of the study insist that it does not prove cause and effect. Indeed, it may be that wine drinkers are happier and more healthy mentally due to other factors like being married or having a better social life.

Researchers say that the link between moderate wine consumption and mental health may be the same reason for wine and heart health.

"Depression and heart disease seem to share some common mechanisms because they share many similar protective factors and risk factors," he said.

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"If you are not a drinker, please don't start drinking," said Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, chair of the department of preventive medicine and public health at the University of Navarra, according to WebMD. "If you drink alcohol, please keep it in the range of one or less drinks a day and consider drinking wine instead of other alcoholic beverages."

The study followed light to moderate drinkers of wine for up to seven years. All participants were between 55 and 80. Over the study the physical and mental health of the participants was regularly checked.

Those who drank moderately seemed to have the best mental health scores compared to those who drank very little wine.

The findings seem to confirm the old adage: "drink and be merry."

The study was published Aug. 30 in the online journal BMC Medicine.

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