According to a study of more than 25,000 people in the UK, there is no brain-safe alcohol consumption, and even “moderate” alcohol intake negatively affects almost every part of the brain.
The study, which should be reviewed by the reviewers, suggests that the more alcohol is consumed, the lower the brain volume. So the more alcohol someone consumes, the worse their brain is.
MORE THAN 25 THOUSAND PEOPLE EXAMINED
“There is no safety threshold for drinking,” said Anya Topiwala, the lead author of the study, a senior clinical lecturer at Oxford University. “As previously thought, almost the entire brain is affected by alcohol, not just certain areas.”
As part of the study, scientists used UK Biobank, an important database designed to help people solve the genetic and environmental factors that cause disease development, and the researchers in this study analyzed data from 25,178 participants, such as age, gender, and education. These data were then compared with the participants’ alcohol consumption, brain size on MRI scans, information about hospital and outpatient visits, and the results of memory tests.
MORE LOSS IN GRAY MATERIAL VOLUME THAN SMOKING AND OVER-WEIGHT
The researchers then found that higher volume of alcohol consumption over the week was associated with lower gray matter density.Drink caused up to 0.8 percent loss in gray matter volume even after taking into account individual biological and behavioral characteristics.
Experts stated that although this figure appears small, it is larger than other modifiable risk factors. Topiwala emphasized that this is four times greater than the harm of smoking or a high body mass index.
NO DIFFERENCE ON TYPE OF BEVERAGE: WINE IS NOT INJURY TO HEALTH
On the other hand, unlike previous studies that suggested that drinking wine in moderation compared to beer or spirits had a benefit, Oxford research found no evidence that the type of alcoholic beverage differed in terms of risks to the brain.
The authors of the study suggested that associating wine drinking with higher education and socioeconomic status could explain the perceived health benefits.
Topiwala said, “You will find that those who drink medium and top quality wine in England are more educated and wealthier people. So they also do better on the memory test. But it’s about their education, not the type of drink they prefer,” Topiwala said.
Colin Angus, a senior research fellow with the Sheffield alcohol research group at the University of Sheffield, said the findings were robust for many alternative assumptions:
“In the overall scheme, although these effects may appear small, they provide a better understanding of the relationship between alcohol and brain health. While it is difficult to compare alcohol’s impact on other health outcomes such as increased cancer risk, it makes its link with diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s meaningful.
WHAT IS GRAY MATTER?
Scientists consider the nervous system of humans in two separate sections. Central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, brainstem and cerebellum, and there are two different colored tissues: gray matter and white matter. Gray matter is mostly made up of the non-myelin sheathed part where the cell bodies of the neurons reside. Here, axons emerge from cell bodies and extend to different parts of the brain. Most of the axons in gray matter are unmyelinated. The gray color is also due to the absence of the white colored myelin sheath.
Gray matter is the area in the brain responsible for information processing. The signals generated here go to other areas of gray matter or sensory areas. The resulting signals direct the body’s activity by activating the motor areas.
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