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Alcohol Accelerates Brain Aging

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

alcohol accelerates brain aging

Story at-a-glance -

  • Brain scans from people between 45.2 years and 80.7 years old revealed that each additional gram of alcohol consumption per day was associated with 0.02 years, or 7.5 days, of increased relative brain age (RBA)
  • Daily, or almost daily, drinking is part of the problem, as the study did not find a significant difference in RBA among those who drank less frequently or abstained from drinking
  • Regular and extensive alcohol consumption is a known detriment to brain health, which may cause white matter and neuronal loss and a reduction of brain volume
  • Unprecedented increases in alcohol use, high-risk drinking and alcohol use disorder (alcoholism) have occurred in recent decades, raising concerns about the implications for brain health

By 2050, it's estimated that 80 million Americans will be 65 years or older, making brain health of paramount importance. Lifestyle factors are known to be protective of or damaging to the brain, and this includes alcohol consumption.

While some research suggests wine consumption may benefit heart health and even has neuroprotective properties, numerous studies have shown that alcohol consumption has a detrimental effect on your brain.

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