Whenever one raises the issue of alcohol, specifically the damaging effects it has on mental and physical health, individuals, communities and society as a whole, one encounters a backlash from blubbering ineducated hordes, spewing the age-old rhetoric:
“Its all about moderation. You can’t say all drinking is bad for you.”
“One drop isn’t going to hurt you.”
“I’m a moderate drinker.”
“Drinking is about being social.”
“Being drunk is more fun than being sober.”
“I heard moderate drinking is actually GOOD for you!”
Absolutely all of the above statements are scientifically proven to be false and are spewed out by mass-media corporations, celebrities, politicians and in some disturbing cases, even medical professionals, reinforcing an unconstructive hive mentality.
|Alcohol makes people look and act like wankers.
Do you have that little self respect that you want this to be you?
One drop DOES hurt you, drinking is ANTI social, drinking is not “fun” when you’re 75 with Alzheimer’s disease because of it and can’t remember your wife’s name, and old wive’s tales of the benefits of a nip of whisky are baseless.
Moderate drinking (defined in the study as between 14 and 21 units per week), whilst not as severe in its consequences as heavy drinking (over 21 units per week), leads to noticeable long-term health issues. A study published in 2017, detailing 30 years of research with 550 test subjects, has revealed that moderate drinking contributes over 30 years to hippocampal atrophy, the degeneration or rotting away of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that stores memories and processes new memories. Moderate drinking is not “healthy”, it actually makes you retarded, in addition to merely looking and acting like a moron.
Most drinkers fall within this “moderate” bracket, those that binge drink once or twice per week or even those that have that “glass of wine” after work.
The effects of moderate alcohol consumption on the brain, though milder than the disease itself, are not dissimilar to the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, which is a result of hippocampal atrophy. It could be said that alcohol consumption contributes towards Alzheimer’s disease.
Another symptom of hippocampal atrophy is depression, suggesting in the long run alcohol doesn’t seem very “fun” after all. I have been teetotal my entire life and always will be. The only solution to the crisis of alcoholism is to make people more aware of these facts.
Another correlation noted in the study linked alcohol to atrophy of the Corpus Callosum, which is also linked to poor spelling and dyslexia. Corpus callosum atrophy was also associated with mental slowing and reduced motor skills in this paper:
C. D. A., author.
Moderate alcohol consumption as risk factor for adverse brain outcomes and cognitive decline: longitudinal cohort study
BMJ 2017; 357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j2353 (Published 06 June 2017)Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j2353
- Anya Topiwala, clinical lecturer in old age psychiatry1,
- Charlotte L Allan, academic clinical lecturer in old age psychiatry1,
- Vyara Valkanova, specialist registrar in old age psychiatry1,
- Enikő Zsoldos, postdoctoral scientist1,
- Nicola Filippini, postdoctoral scientist1,
- Claire Sexton, postdoctoral scientist2,
- Abda Mahmood, research assistant1,
- Peggy Fooks, medical student3,
- Archana Singh-Manoux, professor of epidemiology and public health4,
- Clare E Mackay, associate professor1,
- Mika Kivimäki, professor4,
- Klaus P Ebmeier, professor of old age psychiatry1
- Correspondence to: A Topiwala email@example.com
Objectives To investigate whether moderate alcohol consumption has a favourable or adverse association or no association with brain structure and function.
Design Observational cohort study with weekly alcohol intake and cognitive performance measured repeatedly over 30 years (1985-2015). Multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed at study endpoint (2012-15).
Setting Community dwelling adults enrolled in the Whitehall II cohort based in the UK (the Whitehall II imaging substudy).
Participants 550 men and women with mean age 43.0 (SD 5.4) at study baseline, none were “alcohol dependent” according to the CAGE screening questionnaire, and all safe to undergo MRI of the brain at follow-up. Twenty three were excluded because of incomplete or poor quality imaging data or gross structural abnormality (such as a brain cyst) or incomplete alcohol use, sociodemographic, health, or cognitive data.
Main outcome measures Structural brain measures included hippocampal atrophy, grey matter density, and white matter microstructure. Functional measures included cognitive decline over the study and cross sectional cognitive performance at the time of scanning.
Results Higher alcohol consumption over the 30 year follow-up was associated with increased odds of hippocampal atrophy in a dose dependent fashion. While those consuming over 30 units a week were at the highest risk compared with abstainers (odds ratio 5.8, 95% confidence interval 1.8 to 18.6; P≤0.001), even those drinking moderately (14-21 units/week) had three times the odds of right sided hippocampal atrophy (3.4, 1.4 to 8.1; P=0.007). There was no protective effect of light drinking (1-<7 units/week) over abstinence. Higher alcohol use was also associated with differences in corpus callosum microstructure and faster decline in lexical fluency. No association was found with cross sectional cognitive performance or longitudinal changes in semantic fluency or word recall.
Conclusions Alcohol consumption, even at moderate levels, is associated with adverse brain outcomes including hippocampal atrophy. These results support the recent reduction in alcohol guidance in the UK and question the current limits recommended in the US.