Alcohol formula

BRAUN: Drinking alcohol is bad for the brain – without exception

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Alcohol causes your brain to shrink.

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When it comes to gray matter, the more you drink, the more you shrink.

Nature Communications has released the results of a new study on alcohol and the brain from the University of Pennsylvania, and the suggestion is that even one drink a day can age your poor old brain.

According to the study, the rule of thumb that moderate alcohol consumption is acceptable (defined as one drink a day for women and two for men) has been thrown out the window.

Even moderate amounts of alcohol reduce brain matter. Research results show that a daily drink appears to age the brain by two years, compared to the brains of those who do not consume alcohol.

Increase that to two drinks a day (also called four units of alcohol) and your brain looks 10 years older than a teetotaler.

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(Even studies that suggest a glass of red wine is good for the heart are in doubt, according to a report by the American Heart Association News)

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania told the Philadelphia plaintiff that they had reduced their own alcohol consumption based on the results.

What sets their study apart (among other things) is access to a large data set. The UK Biobank is a massive resource containing genetic and medical information from 500,000 UK adults, middle-aged and older; the alcohol study had access to the brain MRIs of more than 36,000 adults.

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This, said Gideon Nave, a professor and one of the study’s authors, allowed the researchers to discern patterns and associations they couldn’t see before.

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The study also took into account age, height, sex, BMI, smoking status, socioeconomic status, genetic ancestry and country of residence, among others.

Scientists have compared alcohol-caused brain shrinkage to brain shrinkage caused by aging to give perspective on the severity of alcohol’s effects. Each additional alcoholic unit per day showed greater brain aging and more reductions in gray and white matter.

The results of this study will not be new to other researchers.

the Lancet published a study in 2018 that also rejects the idea that any amount of alcohol can be healthy.

According to the report, alcohol is the leading risk factor for disease worldwide and accounts for almost 10% of deaths among 15-49 year olds.

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He says: “We found that the risk of mortality from all causes, and from cancers in particular, increases with increasing levels of consumption, and the level of consumption that minimizes health loss is zero.”

Meanwhile, in Canada and elsewhere, the pandemic has contributed to a huge increase in drug and alcohol use.

Alcohol use disorders are on the rise.

A recent public health report (regarding the effect of pricing and taxation on preventable alcohol-attributable deaths) noted that alcohol consumption in Canada in 2014 was associated with approximately 15,000 preventable deaths and 90 000 preventable hospitalizations.

And the impacts of alcohol consumption on health care, crime and lost productivity have been estimated at $14.6 billion, more than tobacco and all other psychoactive substances combined.

Now, Statistics Canada reports that deaths caused by alcohol have increased in 2020, especially among those under 65.

It’s a simple equation: the more you drink, the worse it is for your health.

Nave put this message in a slightly more positive way.

“The people who can benefit the most from drinking less,” he said, “are the ones who already drink the most.”

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