A study published this week in the science journal Nature showed people who consume one alcoholic beverage per day experience brain aging faster than people who do not drink every day, and the amount of damage to the brain increases as people drink more each day.
The study, which examined the brains of 36,678 subjects who were of moderate health and around age 50. The subjects’ brain scans were studied over time as they began consuming one alcoholic beverage a day.
On average, the results showed, a person near age 50 who drinks two alcoholic units per day (one pint of beer or 6 ounces of wine) showed brains that appeared to have aged two years more than the brains of those who did not drink.
The people in the study who said they drank more than two alcoholic units per day had a larger amount of white and gray brain matter than those who drank less or not at all. They also added an average of 3.5 years of aging to their brains. Drinking four units of alcohol a day aged peoples’ brains about ten years, according to the study.
There is more research to be done regarding the relationship between alcohol and the human brain, but “Based on this study, I would not really draw any definitive conclusions, but I would say that the authors have identified areas for further research,” said alcohol researcher Emmanuela Gakidou to CNN.
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: EATTHIS.COM