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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.

Greec wine by visual07

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

 

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