As lockdown eases and the nation looks forward to the Spring Bank Holiday in over a week, a new study has found that there is no “safe” level of drinking and an increase in consuming alcohol has been associated with poorer brain health.
Researchers from the University of Oxford studied the relationship between the alcohol intake of around 25,000 people in the UK and their brain scans.
Anya Topiwala, who is a senior clinical researcher at Oxford University stated: “So many people drink moderately, and think this is either harmless or even protective. The more people drank, the less volume of their gray matter. Brain volume reduces with age and more severely with dementia. Smaller brain volume also predicts worse performance on memory testing”.
Whilst many may think it could depend on the type of alcohol (wine, spirits, beer) and the percentage intake, health problems including high blood pressure and obesity also put people at higher risk.
2016 saw the worrying statistic of premature deaths in men and women between the age of 15-49. During this year, it’s reported that one in 10 deaths were associated with the consumption of alcohol.
So as life begins to find some sort of normality, we are reminded to drink in moderation and to not be afraid of speaking out and calling for help if we are facing problems with alcohol consumption.