Few things match the pleasure of watching a gorgeous sunset from a rooftop while sipping on a cold drink. Many of us can agree that a toast just feels better with a glass of bubbly. In today’s society alcohol has a place in our lives, from celebrations to commiseration’s. From first dates to anniversaries. However, a new study has warned that having even one drink a day can shrink your brain.
Previous research has highlighted the negative effects heavy drinking can have on the brain; now, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have found that even one drink can cause harm to the brain.
“The research, using a dataset of more than 36,000 adults, revealed that going from one to two drinks a day was linked with changes in the brain equivalent to aging two years,” Science Daily reported.
The more alcohol you drink above one drink, the worse things get.
“While going from zero to a daily average of one alcohol unit was associated with the equivalent of a half a year of aging, the difference between zero and four drinks was more than 10 years of aging,” the researchers found.
A 2012 study reported that the World Health Organisation awarded “South Africa a score of 4 (drinking 5 or more beers or glasses of wine at one sitting for men, and more than 3 drinks for women) out of 5 on a least risky to most risky patterns-of-drinking scale – the higher the score, the greater the alcohol-attributable burden of disease for the country.
READ MORE: Fathers who drink too much can affect the health of the fetus
While only a fraction of South Africans drink, 31% percent, those who do drink do so heavily, according to Africa Check. ” The country has high levels of binge drinking. Of those who do drink, 59% of them engage in “heavy episodic drinking”.
The county’s drinking culture has a negative effect on babies born to drinking parents. According to Substance Use Disorders & Mental Health specialist Jonathan Cupido “South Africa has the highest number of alcohol consumption and highest rates of (FAS Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) in the world.
Next time you are tempted to reach for a cold one after a long day at work, consider the effects having even that one drink can have on your most important organ.