New research found that booze can still harm your brain as you age even if the alcohol consumption is moderate. Researchers found that moderate drinkers have a higher risk of developing unwanted brain changes which could lead to memory loss than non-drinkers or light drinkers. Moderate drinkers also had lower scores on language tests than their abstinent peers.
The study was published this week in the British medical journal BMJ.
According to the study, moderate drinking means from eight to 12 glasses of wine or bottles of beer on a weekly basis. Senior researcher Anya Topiwala who is a professor in psychiatry at the Oxford University noted that many people are moderate drinkers.
However, Topiwala says the new research debunks the myth that moderate drinking may be good for one’s health. Researchers did not analyze abusive drinking because its effects on the brain and its functions have been thoroughly documented.
Moderate Drinking Tied to Pooer Language Fluency as People Age
In the new study, the research team sifted through three decades’ worth of medical records of more than 500 civil servants in the U.K. Participants who were overwhelmingly white middle class males agreed to take thinking and memory tests and record their drinking habits staring with the age of 43.
Volunteers also agreed to have their brains scanned to see whether there are any changes linked to moderate drinking over the years. They also repeated the tests after some years.
Researchers found there were no notable brain changes for moderate and light drinking if participants were matched for physical activity, sex, age, social status, education, and common risk factors such as smoking.
Researchers however found that consumers in the moderate to heavy drinking category had lower scores on the language fluency tests as they aged. The tests require people to name as many words as they can recall, starting with a specific letter.
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