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The team does not and cannot offer clinical advice. If you have any urgent medical enquiries we urge you to contact your GP, or NHS Direct at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk or by calling 0845 4647. In an emergency call 999

Drinking alcohol every day 'link' to brain damage

"Just two glasses of wine a day could be harmful to the brain”, the Daily Mail warns, while the Daily Express, reporting on the same study, advises “even a small tipple everyday can have a huge impact, decreasing the production of adult brain cells by a massive 40%”.

The sobering headlines are based on a study that examined the effect of alcohol on the production of brain cells in rats.

The researchers found that rats exposed to moderate levels of alcohol each day produced 40% fewer new brain cells in a region of the brain associated with memory, compared to the teetotal group of rats. However, the drinking and non-drinking groups showed no differences in terms of motor functioning or learning ability.

It is also unclear whether the observed reduction in brain cell production has long-term effects.

Therefore, it should not be assumed that these results translate into longer-term brain damage and memory loss in humans.

Still, the research does highlight the fact that even moderate levels of drinking, if you drink on a daily basis, can be potentially harmful. It is recommended that you have at least one or two ‘booze free’ days each week.

For more on this see the NHS Choices website.

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The team does not and cannot offer clinical advice. If you have any urgent medical enquiries we urge you to contact your GP, or NHS Direct at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk or by calling 0845 4647. In an emergency call 999