REGULARLY having a glass of wine or two with dinner could sharpen your dinner party conversation.
Abstain altogether, or drink too much, and you could be a dullard.
People who average two alcoholic drinks a day are better thinkers than teetotallers and very heavy drinkers, according to research.
An Australian National University study of 7000 people has found those who drink in moderation have better verbal skills, memory and speed of thinking than those at the extremes of the drinking spectrum.
Researchers say it is a mystery why. The study overturns conventional belief that alcohol kills brain cells, leaving drinkers less well off in the brains department.
Researcher Dr Bryan Rodgers said people who drink moderate amounts also seem to be healthier, physically and mentally.
"The research looked at factors including physical health, personality, social lives, social supports, friendships and enemies, and yet these did not explain it," he said. "It's a mystery."
He said there appeared to be no social factors - such as better education of one group - that could explain the phenomenon.
The survey was conducted on more than 7000 Canberra and Queanbeyan residents. They were sober at the time.
Moderate alcohol consumption was considered to be 14 to 28 standard drinks a week for men and seven to 14 drinks a week for women.