You’ve probably heard red wine touted as a heart-healthy drink. But in general, alcohol gets a bad rap. For one thing, it can be high in calories. For another thing, it can wreak havoc on the liver. And it’s even thought to be a toxic substance for nerve cells. However, new research is redeeming alcohol, saying that there are some benefits from consuming small amounts of alcohol. 

In a study published in Scientific Reports, scientists set out to explore how both small amounts and high amounts of alcohol affect the brain. Specifically, can alcohol help the brain wipe itself clean?

The study observed laboratory mice and found that low dosages of alcohol supported the brain’s glymphatic function. According to Dr. David Perlmutter, neurologist and bestselling author, this function is how the brain gets rid of “potentially harmful debris.”

So, just how much did researchers consider a low dose of alcohol? It all depends on the individual’s body weight, but in general one to two glasses is acceptable. And it’s important to note that this applies to one specific type of alcohol: wine.

But anymore than one to two glasses can be harmful to the brain. In fact, too high a dose of alcohol can lead to a decline in the glymphatic function by three times. So, habits like binge drinking and the infamous nights-on-the-town can wreak havoc on the brain.

So, consuming a small amount of wine each day can help you have a clearer mind by helping the brain get rid of potentially harmful substances.