We all know that drinking alcohol has a whole slew of negative effects on your health, wreaking havoc on your sleep, making you gain weight, and leading to liver damage. But an increasing amount of research is focusing on the long-term impact of alcohol on the brain. One 2018 study published in the British Medical Journal found that people who drank more than 14 units—10 milliliters or 8 grams—of alcohol per week on a regular basis had an increased risk of dementia. Now, a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports has revealed the dramatic aging effects of alcohol on the brain. According to the research, every gram of alcohol consumed per day ages the brain 0.2 years.
For their research, scientists at the University of Southern California looked at brain scans of 17,308 people between the ages of 45 to 81, then trained a computer to assess the ages of the brains in the scans. The researchers compared the results with the participants’ chronological ages and their self-reports on how much they drink and smoke. As a result, they concluded that just one gram of alcohol consumed per day ages the brain 0.2 years, which is roughly a week. Given that a standard glass of wine or bottle of beer contains roughly 14 grams of alcohol, that’s pretty significant damage.
The study’s findings also showed that the brains of people who reported drinking on a daily basis looked about five months older on average than those who consumed more moderate amounts of alcohol.
Article by Diana Bruk .Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more