Even small amounts of alcohol can affect your brain

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(WFSB) – Previous research shows that excessive alcohol consumption is not good for the brain.

Now a big new study shows that even just one drink a day can have an impact.

Many people enjoy an occasional glass of wine with dinner or a drink to wind down at the end of the day.

Previous research has shown that people who drink heavily have changes in brain structure and size that are associated with cognitive impairment.

Now, a new study has found that even a few beers or glasses of wine a week can also be risky.

“I was surprised at how little alcohol seemed necessary to reduce brain volume,” said Dr. Henry Kranzler, of the Penn Center for Studies of Addiction.

The researchers said the data showed that light to moderate drinking was associated with reductions in overall brain volume.

“The reductions are proportional,” Kranzler said. “So the more you drink, the smaller the volume.”

For example, in people aged 50, going from about half a beer a day to a pint of beer or a glass of wine, the changes in the brain were equivalent to aging two years. Kranzler said the study results contrasted with current guidelines on safe drinking limits, which stated that there was no more than one drink per day for women, no more than two drinks per day. for men.

“It’s reasonable to drink a small amount of alcohol, but I would discourage people from drinking more than one or two drinks on any occasion and no more than seven drinks on average per week,” Kranzler said.

Kranzler said about a third of the adult population drinks more than recommended.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that two in three adult drinkers report drinking above moderate levels at least once a month.

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