Hannah Devlin, Science correspondent, 4 Mar 2022
THE GUARDIAN – Cutting back on the final drink of the evening could substantially improve brain health, scientists have said.
A major study of more than 36,000 adults suggests that the negative effects of alcohol consumption grow stronger with each additional drink. So those who drink several units each day potentially have the most to gain by reducing their drinking.
Dr Remi Daviet, the study’s first author, who is based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said:
“There is some evidence that the effect of drinking on the brain is exponential. So, one additional drink in a day could have more of an impact than any of the previous drinks that day. That means that cutting back on that final drink of the night might have a big effect in terms of brain aging.”
The study found that the more a person drinks the smaller their brain and that there was less connectivity in the brain’s white matter.
Even modest levels of drinking – a few glasses of wine a week – appeared to carry a risk.
And the link between alcohol consumption and reductions in overall brain volume grew stronger the greater the level of alcohol consumption.
The study follows previous work showing links between alcohol consumption and brain health. But it was unclear whether moderate levels of drinking had an impact – some had even suggested that light drinking could be beneficial.
The NHS recommends not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis, although states that there is no completely safe level of drinking.
The research showed a negative association between even one drink a day and brain volume and the link grew stronger the greater the level of alcohol consumption … READ MORE.