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The Worrying Impact Between Alcohol and Your Brain

Multiple studies continue to come out regarding the unhealthy effects of even just TWO alcoholic drinks a day. One of the latest studies, conducted by researchers at The University of Pennsylvania, has had multiple variations, including a similar experiment that measured alcohol’s impact on middle-aged English citizens. The findings remain consistent with previous findings; the more alcohol one consumes, the greater presence of something known as "brain shrinkage".

As we reach middle-age, cognitive decline can result in the brain's cerebral cortex and other regions to thin and decrease in size. Neurofibers in the brain slowly lose ability to function and disappear as the brain shrinks. This effect, like wrinkles and balding, is completely normal and not considered to be a disease, however, brain shrinkage can result in cognitive complications, such as memory loss, decreased blood flow, and difficulty learning new tasks.

The study looks at over 36,000 adults who responded to a survey based on their weekly drinking habits. A brain scan was then conducted to analyze each participants' white and gray matter. Once you group the participants into their respective alcohol habits, it's a linear pattern of reduced gray and white matter in the brain. Researchers equate this impact with essentially aging yourself by several years, speeding up brain shrinkage.

Whether you're an alcohol drinker or not, this study highlights the crucial need for healthy diet and drinking habits. It's also important to keep in mind that brain shrinkage might also impact your overall mental health. This phenomenon isn't reserved to just one region of the brain, shrinkage can effect multiple areas, it all just depends.

If you're an alcohol drinker and want to be a little healthier, keep track of how much you're drinking in a week. Find out how many drinks you're having on average and what your other habits may look like. How can you improve them? What areas do you think you'd benefit from less drinking during the week?

To read about the study, check out the links below:

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