Jesper wrote: perhaps leaving some room for uncertainty about the effects of moderate alcohol consumption in E4s.
Bottom line, alcohol consumption is not a good idea for E4s, so if you must, moderation is paramount and other personal health factors had better be in tip-top shape for the brain to counter the damaging effects of alcohol.
Alzheimer’s is largely a brain energy issue influenced by three main things:
1. Insulin resistance in the brain which results in impaired glucose uptake to which ApoE4s seem to be more susceptible to this than others. Alcohol is processed in the body as sugar, not good for insulin sensitivity.
2. Accelerated mitochondrial degradation (mitochondria are the cells energy “factories”) and again it seems that ApoE4s are more sensitive to the damaging effects of free radicals. You may want to read Alcohol is damaging to mitochondria.
and/or Alcohol and Mitochondria: A Dysfunctional Relationship
3. Vascular impairment in the brain, again something, we seem to have more susceptibility. This one is a little more complex. In moderation, alcohol maybe beneficial, but hard to say.
The names you cited were born in the late 1800s or early 1900s. The lifestyle they led is SO DIFFERENT than the lifestyle we lead: activity level (I suspect not a couch potato or someone who sat at a desk all day in the bunch), dietary practices (especially in comparing in sugar/simple carbohydrates and vegetable oil consumption), farming practices, food additives, preservatives, food dyes, insecticides, herbicides, concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) practices designed to quickly grow and fatten animals, pollution exposure, circadian rhythm disruption, prescription and OTC drugs, sun exposure vs artificial/blue light exposure, on and on. The lives we’re leading are SO DIFFERENT than their lives that, in my opinion, their bodies were better able to absorb the damage of alcohol.