A new study found links between alcohol and brain size, showing how many a day can impact the health of people’s brains.
Alcohol is often linked with negative health side effects. It’s correlated with weight gain, cancer, and a variety of diseases. A new study focusing on the brain shows the reach of alcohol’s negative effects, showing that just a drink a day is enough to shrink people’s brains. The more drinks are consumed, the worse the harm.
Published in the journal Nature, the study showed that 50-year-old subjects who had a glass of wine or a beer a day had smaller brains than subjects who only drank half of a beer a day.
Brain size is linked with age, with brains beginning to shrink as people enter their 30s and 40s. Study results showed that those who consumed three drinks a day had brains that were three years older than their real age. Having four drinks a day resulted in brains looking a decade older. “It gets worse the more you drink,” said study author Remi Daviet.
The study examined data from 36,000 middle-aged adults in the U.K., a large sample size that allowed researchers to see differences between people had a drink a day and people who had half a drink.
Still, the study can’t imply causation. “Our study is by far the largest investigation of the topic,” study’s co-author Gideon Nave told CNN. “It uses a general population sample, and it controls for more confounds than before. As such, it provides overwhelmingly more evidence than any previous investigations and gets us closer to settling the debate.”
Many factors can go into brain decay, which can be impacted by alcohol consumption, not participating in intellectually stimulating activities, and more.