More Alcohol Less Brain: Even Once a Day

More Alcohol Less Brain: Even Once a Day

Even mild to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with brain damage, according to a new study by scientists. Examining data from more than 36,000 adults, researchers discovered a link between reduced brain volume and drinking. Starting at an average consumption level of less than one unit of alcohol per day (equivalent to about half a beer), this reduction increases with each additional drink.

Using a data set of more than 36,000 adults, the research shows that switching from one drink to two drinks a day is linked to changes in the brain equivalent to aging for two years. Drinking more alcohol was associated with greater harm. The scientific findings between binge drinking and the brain are clear: There’s no healthy relationship between the two. Changes in brain structure and size in people who drink heavily are associated with cognitive decline.

But alcohol consumption, even at levels most consider reasonable—a few beers or glasses of wine a week—can damage the brain, according to the new study. An analysis of data from more than 36,000 adults led by a research team from the University of Pennsylvania shows that mild to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with reductions in overall brain volume.

Researchers show that this link becomes stronger as the level of alcohol consumed increases. For example, when 50-year-olds increase the average amount of alcohol they consume in a day (around half a beer) to two units (a can of beer or a glass of wine), changes occur in the brain equivalent to aging for two years. Switching from two units of alcohol to three units of alcohol at the same age corresponds to aging three and a half years. The research team’s findings were published two days ago in Nature Communications.

Source: University of Pennsylvania https://popsci.com.tr/ Photo: Brad/Unsplash

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