5. Drinking alcohol every day may speed up the aging of the brain
According to a study, daily alcohol consumption appears to be associated with an increase in relative brain age in comparison to those who consume less alcohol.
Research has already proven that some lifestyle habits, such as heavy alcohol consumption, are linked to harmful effects in certain areas of the brain.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
Researchers made use of machine learning techniques and MRI for identifying relative brain age in 17,308 people between the ages of 45 and 81 years. Relative brain age is a person’s brain age according to MRI measurements, in comparison to their peers’ average brain age.
Drinking behavior data was collected from11,600 people, and it was discovered that individuals consuming alcohol on most days had a higher relative brain age compared to individuals who drank less often or never. Each extra gram of daily alcohol consumption was linked to an increase of 0.02 years of relative brain age.
Individuals consuming alcohol every day or on most days of the week had around 0.4 years or 5 months of extra brain aging in comparison to individuals who didn’t. The statistical significance of 0.4 years of difference is that the brain aged about a week for every gram of alcohol consumed daily.
There are 8 grams of alcohol in one unit of alcohol, a single shot of spirits is one unit of alcohol, and a large glass of wine or a pint of beer is about 3 units of alcohol.
MRI scans were conducted on 5193 of the individuals, and a significant reduction was found in the brain’s white and grey matter and also a reduced brain volume, which corresponds to brain aging.
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