(ORDO NEWS) — A British study found that drinking approximately 40 grams of pure ethyl alcohol per week led to the accumulation of iron in the brain and cognitive decline.
Of course, alcohol slowly kills our body. But who knew that just a small amount of it is enough to make you dumber
It will not be a discovery that alcohol is harmful to our body. But recent research is shedding more light on the effects of alcohol and suggests that the hidden effects of alcohol are actually much stronger than we thought.
According to the results, alcoholic beverages can lead to a variety of effects, from an increased risk of cancer to structural damage to the brain.
How alcohol makes us dumber
In the new work, scientists focused on the impact of alcohol consumption on people’s cognitive abilities. The hypothesis behind the new work arose from studies linking high brain iron levels to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Abnormal accumulations of iron in the brain have been found in the brains of heavy drinkers, so in this study the authors set out to find out if the same thing happens in the brains of moderate drinkers.
As part of their work, scientists analyzed data from more than 20,000 subjects registered with the British Biobank. It turned out that self-reported alcohol consumption correlated with the level of iron in the brain, measured using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Elevated levels of iron in the brain, especially in the basal ganglia, have been associated with consumption of more than seven units of alcohol per week.
One unit of alcohol is defined as 10 milliliters of pure alcohol. For example, a large glass of wine may contain two to three units of alcohol, while a typical can of beer may contain 1.5 to two units of alcohol.
The study also analyzed cognitive measures and found that drinking more than 4 units of alcohol was associated with “slower executive function, reduced intelligence, and slower reaction times.”
All this can cause the accumulation of high levels of iron in the basal ganglia. Scientists attribute this effect on the accumulation of iron to the fact that alcohol blocks the production of a hormone that regulates iron homeostasis.
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