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Moderate drinking has no protective effect on the brain and is in fact associated with brain decline. Such is the finding of the Oxford-UCL study led by Dr Anya Topiwala, OUCAGS Clinical Lecturer.

The study, 'Moderate alcohol consumption as risk factor for adverse brain outcomes and cognitive decline: longitudinal cohort study', was published in The BMJ. Reflecting on its results, Dr Topiwala said:

‘Our findings support the recent reduction in UK safe limits and call into question the current US guidelines, which suggest that up to 24.5 units a week is safe for men, as we found increased odds of hippocampal atrophy at just 14-21 units a week, and we found no support for a protective effect of light consumption on brain structure.’

Dr Topiwala’s study was co-authored, amongst others, by Dr Charlotte Allan, formerly also an OUCAGS Clinical Lecturer, and has received wide media coverage, including by The Guardian and The Independent.

Read more about the study

 

Photo credit: visual07 Greec Wine via photopin (license) unchanged

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