A new study conducted by a team of American researchers offered surprising information. The researchers observed the brain scans of more than 17,000 participants in an attempt to see if daily alcohol consumption and smoking can increase the speed at which the brain ages.
The daily consumption of alcohol can accelerate the speed at which the brain ages according to the new research. It is estimated that for every gram of alcohol that is consumed, the brain will age by seven and a half days. For reference, a small glass of wine or a regular beer contains 14 grams of alcohol. Participants who declared that they drank alcohol every day had a brain that was older by up to five months in comparison to those who consumed alcohol occasionally.
In the case of smoking, the statistics are even grimmer as those who smoke a pack each day over a year have a brain that will boost the age of their brain by eleven days.
Aging vs. alcohol consumption
At the start of the study, the researchers took a part of the brain scans that were related to people between the of 45 to 81 and used them to develop a computer algorithm that could analyze the other scans and estimate the age of the brain.
The estimations made by the computer were compared with the real age of the person and the self-reports, which tracked the amount of alcohol and tobacco that was consumed each day. Using the data from the other scans and the results offered by the algorithm, the researchers concluded that the age of the brain would be higher if the persons tend to drink and smoke more often.
However, it is essential to point out that the occasional consumption of high-quality alcohol can offer benefits for the body, with a focus on the heart. The study was published in a scientific journal.