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Drinking alcohol reduces brain volume, new study finds

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If you have a habit of drinking alcohol, even moderately, know that it has a negative effect on your brain in the long run. A investigation from the University of Pennsylvania, in the United States, concluded that the consumption of alcoholic beverages causes changes and reduces the volume of the brain.

O study analyzed data from more than 36,000 healthy adults, recording not only the volume of white and gray matter in their brains, but also their drinking habits, age, height, sex, genetics, body mass index body, their smoking habits, their economic situation and their municipality of residence. The results suggest that the more you drink, the more severe the effects.

For example, in a person who does not drink at all and who begins to drink on average one unit of alcohol per day (the equivalent of half a liter of beer), an evolution identical to half a year of aging brain is recorded. In the case of a passage from zero to the consumption of an average of four glasses per day, this passage passes to an aging period of 10 years.

In the case of a 50-year-old person who drinks one unit of alcohol a day and then drinks two units (the equivalent of 1 liter of beer or a glass of wine), the brain changes are equivalent to two years of aging.

“These results contrast with scientific and government guidelines on safe consumption limits”says author Henry R. Kranzler, director of the Penn Center for Studies of Addiction. “Although the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism [dos Estados Unidos] recommend that women consume on average no more than one drink per day, the recommended limits for men are double, an amount that exceeds the level of consumption associated in the study with a decrease in brain volume.points.

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