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|How Alcohol Changes Your Brain
|Many know that studies have suggested that alcohol in
moderation may promote heart health, and even ward off diabetes and
dementia. But fewer people know that no study has ever proved a causal
relationship between moderate drinking and lower risk of death, only that
the two often go together.
In other words, it is just as likely that moderate drinking is just
something healthy people tend to do, not something that makes people
Dr. Tim Naimi, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, says that, "The bottom line is there has not been a single study
done on moderate alcohol consumption and mortality outcomes that is a gold
standard kind of study -- the kind of randomized controlled clinical trial
that we would be required to have in order to approve a new pharmaceutical
Alcohol has been tied to breast cancer, can lead to accidents even when
consumed in small amounts, and is linked with liver disease, cancers, heart
damage and strokes when consumed in larger amounts.
Some of the WEAKEST science we have is epidemiological observations, and
that is precisely the type of science that has been used to support that
drinking wine in moderation is healthy for you.
Additionally, to examine the effects of alcohol on the brain, researchers
examined eight men and seven women who drank alcohol through a straw while
lying in an MRI scanner.
Only 6 minutes after consuming an amount of alcohol equivalent to three
beers, changes had already taken place in their brain cells, Live Science
reports. Their brains began to run on the sugar in alcohol instead of
glucose, the normal brain food.
The concentration of substances such as creatine, which protects brain
cells, also decreased as the concentration of alcohol increased. Choline, a
component of cell membranes, was also reduced. This probably means that
alcohol triggers changes in the composition of cell membranes.
New York Times June 15,
Live Science June 15,
Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism May 2009;
Im sure you ve heard that alcohol can be beneficial when consumed in low to
moderate quantities (about 1-3 standard glasses of alcohol per day), but
there are thousands of studies on alcohol consumption and its effects on
your health, and researchers still cant prove that moderate drinking
leads to a longer, healthier life.
What they have found, however, is plenty of evidence showing structural
damage in your brain as well as other detrimental effects, even when
consumed in small quantities.
I think that is far more telling than anything else. Its hard to imagine
any significant health benefit that could outweigh its destructive influence
on your brain.
Although some research points to the possibility that moderate alcohol
consumption may actually reduce your risk of
numerous studies clearly indicate that alcohol consumption causes too many
directly negative neurological complications to say that it has any real
*How Alcohol Damages Your Brain*
In the study mentioned above, researchers discovered that creatine and
choline concentrations in your brain decrease as the concentration of
alcohol increases. Creatine is involved in energy metabolism and protects
your brain cells, and choline is a component of your cell membranes.
Researcher Armin Biller said,
*"That probably indicates that alcohol triggers changes in the composition
of cell membranes. *
*Our follow-ups on the next day showed that the shifts in brain metabolites
after moderate consumption of alcohol by healthy persons are completely
reversible. However, we assume that the brains ability to recover from the
effect of alcohol decreases or is eliminated as the consumption of alcohol
*The acute effects demonstrated in our study could possibly form the basis
for the permanent brain damage that is known to occur in alcoholics. "*
Another recent study published in the April issue of *Human **
the chronic effects
of low to moderate alcohol consumption on the structural and functional
properties of your brain*. *
Using Magnetic Resonance Induction (MRI) studies, they found a linear
negative effect of alcohol consumption on brain volume. They concluded that
the brain shrinkage reported as a result of low to moderate alcohol
consumption offers more support for the contention that alcohol is, overall,
more detrimental than beneficial to your brain health and cognition.
Yet another study published in the March/April issue of *Alcohol &
to the most recent lineup of studies linking regular alcohol
consumption with various forms of brain damage.
In that study the researchers concluded that:
*"Even heavy social drinkers who have no specific neurological or hepatic
problems show signs of regional brain damage and cognitive dysfunction. *
*Changes are more severe and other brain regions are damaged in patients who
have additional vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency (Wernicke-Korsakoff
*Other Health Hazards of Alcohol Consumption*
My position is that its never a good idea to drink alcohol.
*After all, alcohol is a neurotoxin -- it can poison your brain. *Even
moderate amounts of alcohol are not recommended, because alcohol can also:
· Make you more vulnerable to various preventable cancers
*· **Harm your bodys delicate hormonal balance*
*· **Cause liver damage*
*It goes without saying that alcohol should be entirely avoided during
pregnancy as it can cause severe damage to your unborn child.*
In addition, alcohol consumption has also been found to blunt the
responsiveness of your hypothalamus to immune- and other non-immune
An impaired physical stress response is believed to affect several body
systems, including your immune systems ability to fight infection, and,
again, can hinder your brain cells ability to learn and remember.
*What About Red Wine?*
Red wine is often cited as being a good source of resveratrol, a potent
antioxidant that has been shown to increase lifespan in a manner similar to
calorie restriction. But what is frequently overlooked is the fact that
there are many other, far safer sources of resveratrol.
For example, instead of red wine, you can use a grape seed supplement such
as *Purple Defense
although resveratrol is found in grapes, it is likely that there are other
accessory micronutrients and trace elements that enhance resveratrols
benefits, so taking the entire whole unprocessed food (minus the
carbohydrate loaded sweet pulp) will give you the most benefit.
Resveratrol is also found in raspberries, mulberries and peanuts.
Other potent sources of antioxidants include grape pomace,
blueberries, and green
Red wine is definitely NOT your best source of antioxidants, as some studies
would suggest. *There are major benefits to consuming the bioflavanoids that
are present in grape seeds and grape skins, but NOT in the alcohol caused by
fermenting the sugar in the grape pulp.*
*Consuming large amounts of wine will also increase your insulin levels,
which will eventually have a negative impact on your health. *
*How to REALLY Boost Your Brain Health*
Drinking alcohol to reduce your risk of heart disease or dementia is clearly
not your best option.
Heart disease, for example, is actually fairly easy to prevent by
implementing simple lifestyle changes, which Ive discussed at length
And as for fighting age-related cognitive decline, there are far healthier,
safer, and proven ways to stay mentally sharp into old age. Here are a few
of my most effective strategies:
- Eat a nutritious diet,
paying particular attention to avoiding sugar and consuming plenty of
- Eat plentyof
high-quality omega-3 fats
- Avoid most
remove mercury from your body
- Avoid aluminumfound
in drinking water, antiperspirants, cookware, etc.
- Exercise regularly
- Challenge your
activities such as traveling, learning to play an instrument or doing
- Try Purple Defense ,
an all-natural supplement made from muscadine grape seeds; natures
source for resveratrol, which can cross your blood-brain barrier to help
protect brain cells* *
E-Gurzuf Holding Co.Masterhormones.com 2006