Just two glasses of wine a day can nearly HALVE the number of brain cells we produce
Source: Daily Mail
By Anna Hodgekiss
Just two glasses of wine a day could be harmful to the brain, new research suggests.
Even moderate drinking can decrease the production of adult brain cells by as much as 40 per cent, researchers from Rutgers Unviersity in the US have found. The researchers said the findings showed there is a fine line between moderate and binge drinking.
Lead author Megan Anderson said: 'Moderate drinking can become binge drinking without the person realising it. 'In the short term there may not be any noticeable motor skills or overall functioning problems, but in the long term this type of behaviour could have an adverse effect on learning and memory.'
Ms Anderson, a graduate fellow in the department of neuroscience and cell biology, used rats to model moderate to heavy drinking in humans. Creating a blood alcohol level of 0.08 per cent in the rats, the legal driving limit in the US, they found this disrupted the production of brain cells. This level of alcohol intake was not enough to impair the motor skills of the rats or prevent them from associative learning in the short-term. But the number of nerve cells in the hippocampus of the brain were reduced by nearly 40 percent compared to those in the sober group of rodents.
This substantial decrease in brain cell numbers over time could have profound effects on the adult brain, said Ms Anderson. That's because these new cells communicate with other neurons to regulate brain health.
'If this area of your brain was affected every day over many months and years, eventually you might not be able to learn how to get somewhere new or to learn something new about your life,' said Ms Anderson. It's something that you might not even be aware is occurring.
The study is available online in the journal Neuroscience.