WXTK Better Health Report

West Barnstable dietitian Joan Trimble looks at recent studies on alcohol's effect on the brain in this WXTK Better Health Report.

Over the past week there were a couple of new studies released about alcohol.

One study by British researchers showed that even moderate drinking in the range recommended by the US Government can dull the aging brain. They followed 550 people over the age of 40 for 30 years and found alcohol was associated with increased shrinkage in the part of the brain called the hippocampus. That’s the part of your brain associated with memory and shrinkage in this area is one of the first signs of Alzheimer’ Disease.

And another study from South Korea showed that heavy alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk for sarcopenia in elderly women. Sarcopenia is age related loss of muscle mass and strength.

So how much can you drink safely?

Both research groups feel the current limits recommended in the USA of 2 drinks per day for men and 1 for women is too high.

The British recently decreased the amount they feel is safe to 5 drinks per week vs 7 -14 per week by US standards.

But we don’t know if that is too high either. Breast cancer researchers feel that even 1 drink per day is too many, as that amount is linked to an increase rate of breast cancer.

This is Joan Trimble wishing you wellness.

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