Any amount of alcoholic consumption causes damage to the brain, study finds

So because you only drink a glass of wine at the end of the month you think you’re in the clearing right?

Well, according to this observational study from the University of Oxford, there is no such thing as a “safe drinking level”.

In fact, any amount of alcohol consumption is linked to poorer brain health.

The researchers found that drinking had an effect on the brain’s gray matter. These are regions in the brain that make up “important bits where information is processed,” according to lead author Anya Topiwala, a senior clinical researcher at Oxford.

“The more people drank, the less the volume of their gray matter,” Topiwala told CNN. “Brain volume reduces with age and more severely with dementia. Smaller brain volume also predicts worse performance on memory testing,” she explained.

“Whilst alcohol only made a small contribution to this (0.8%), it was a greater contribution than other ‘modifiable’ risk factors,” she said, explaining that modifiable risk factors are “ones you can do something about, in contrast to aging.”

The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, studied the relationship between the self-reported alcohol intake of some 25,000 people in the UK, and their brain scans.