A drink a day may keep Alzheimer’s away, according to the findings of an obscure study last year by researchers at the University of Valencia in Spain.

Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol seemed to delay the start of Alzheimer’s disease among nonsmoking women, according to the study. Researchers are unsure what ingredients in alcohol provide the protection. However, they know that wine and other spirits have proven vascular and antioxidant effects.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia in people 65 or older and affects more than 5 million Americans, including millions of African-Americans.

However, before celebrating and restocking your wine rack, experts from the alcohol industry watchdog, the Marin Institute in San Francisco, dismissed the study and similar claims, contending that the alcohol business is trying to emulate the healthy product marketing niche taken by the food industry.

“The wine industry has been exaggerating wine’s health benefits for years. Now Big Alcohol is taking such messages to a whole new level,” said Michele Simon, research and policy director at the Marin Institute. “Alcohol is not a health and wellness product. Even moderate consumption is responsible for a wide range of health problems, including heart disease and cancer. Alcohol is not a health tonic.”

To view the Marin Institute report regarding things from protein vodka to weight-loss beer, visit www.marininstitute.org.