Consumption of alcohol can never be taken in the light of safe drinking.
A new study reveals poor brain health is associated with intake of alcohol.
Alcohol Consumption Can Harm Our Brain Regardless Of The Quantity Consumed
Such adverse effects can be noticed in socially standardized moderate alcohol consumption.
Revelations of the latest study
An observational study was recently undertaken by scientists of Oxford University, which is not yet peer-reviewed.
The study analyzed the correlation between alcohol consumption and the brain scan of individuals.
The research was based on data obtained from about 25000 UK nationals, who reported alcohol consumption of their own selves.
It was found that alcohol impacted the grey matter of the brain, which is primarily responsible for information processing.
Anya Topiwala, the chief author of the study and a senior clinical researcher at Oxford, explained the findings over an email.
As stated by her, people who had a high rate of alcohol consumption were noticed to have reduced grey matter.
She further explains that the reduction in grey matter is also caused by age and degenerative conditions like dementia.
The reduced grey matter thus affects the memory function.
While alcohol intake accounts for only 0.8% of respondents to the grey matter damage, it is one of the main modifiable risk factors.
Modifiable risk factors are defined as the ones that can be controlled by us compared to the factors like old age or dementia.
Can the type of alcohol modify the damage?
The type of alcohol, drinking pattern of the individual, and underlying medical conditions were also taken into consideration for the assessment.
It was observed that there was no safe amount of alcohol intake. The only safe way was not drinking it.
The same observation was seen regarding the type of beverage. Regardless of it being wine, beer or whiskey, it has an adverse effect on the brain.
However, underlying medical conditions like high blood pressure, obesity, or continuous drinking made the individuals more susceptible to brain damage.
According to experts like Topiwala, people often drink in limited quantities and perceive it as safe.
She further adds that since the cure for degenerative conditions like dementia is still not available, controlling the other factors that may induce brain damage is a priority.
Is there any safe threshold for alcohol?
As shown in previous studies, there are no safe limits for alcohol consumption.
According to a study published in 2018 in Lancet, intake of alcohol was the primary contributing factor for diseases and deaths in people.
Between the age group 15-49, every one in 10 deaths was caused by alcohol consumption.
Speaking about the latest study, Tony Rao, a visiting clinician at the Old Age Psychiatry at King’s College London, stated that the results of the study are unlikely to be faulty since the sample size was large.
Some experts like Sadie Boniface stated that other than the brain, the effect of alcohol on other body parts also should not be overlooked that causes multiple other medical risks.
Further adding to it that although evidence lack at the moment that how much alcohol is bad for health, the adverse effects associated with heavy liquor intake are well known.
Interpretation of the study.
Experts believe that alcohol consumption induces a negligible change in the function and structure of the brain.
These changes are not noticeable during routine health assessment unless they cumulate into significant brain damage marked by faulty memory functions after many years.
It is further believed that even low amounts of liquor intake over the years act as a modifiable risk factor in inducing brain damage compared to other lifestyle factors like smoking.
The combined effects of alcohol consumption with underlying health issues like being obese or high blood pressure were showcased in the study.
This study reinstates the importance of healthy lifestyle choices in maintaining the wellbeing of the brain and memory functions.