Wine and beer consumption could be linked to the risk of developing dementia over the age of 65, according to research.

The Institute of Preventive Medicine in Copenhagen has conducted research that has indicated that people who drink beer, even as infrequently as once a month - are more than twice as likely to experience a deterioration in mental functioning, known as dementia, after age 65. However, wine weekly wine drinkers were 70% less likely to develop dementia over 65 than non-wine drinkers, and monthly wine drinker were 60% less likely the research showed.

Daily wine consumption and general spirits consumption appeared to have no effect.

However Dr Thomas Truelsen of the Institute was quick to warn that more research was needed before doctors could safely recommend that people drink wine to stave off dementia. The precise amount of alcohol that the study participants consumed throughout their lives is not clear, he noted, and, for some, drinking alcohol can do more harm than good.

"I'm not saying that people should drink wine," Truelsen cautioned.