Wine is worse for the brain than beer, research finds
Sunday 16 March 2008
Drinking too much wine damages the brain more than beer or spirits, scientists have discovered.
New research on the long-term effects of heavy drinking shows that one area of the brains of wine drinkers was smaller than that of other people studied who drank different drinks in greater amounts.
The ground-breaking study shows that the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in memory, spatial tasks and many other functions, was more than 10 per cent smaller in those whose tipple was wine than in those who favoured beer.
Researchers say that alcohol alone may not account for the differences because the beer and spirit drinkers had greater lifetime consumption of alcohol; in the case of beer drinkers some had consumed twice as much alcohol as the wine lovers. One theory is that there may be something in beer that partially protects the brain from the damage caused by wine.
"This is the first study investigating the impact of the type of preferred beverage on brain-volume shrinkage in patients with alcohol dependence," said the team of psychiatrists who carried out the work.
The study, reported in the medical journal Alcohol & Alcoholism, saw researchers carry out detailed brain scans of men and women diagnosed with alcoholism and compared them with brain scans of healthy adults. The size of the hippocampus was largest in the healthy group – 3.85ml. In beer drinkers it was 3.4ml, while the average for spirit drinkers was 2.9ml, and for wine drinkers, 2.8ml.
The researchers, from Germany's Göttingen University, believe the findings may be linked to a compound in the blood called homocysteine, which other studies have shown is linked to higher risks of heart disease, strokes, brain atrophy and dementia.
Researchers found that beer drinkers had the lowest levels of the compound. One theory is that other ingredients of beer – B vitamins and folate – may break down homocysteine.
Geoffrey Macnab reviews American Hustle, also starring Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper
newsFormer soldier taped 33 of the animals to the floor and then stamped on them one by one
Michelle Nijhuis' daughter insists (s)he is, and she learnt a valuable lesson on gender in books
news Opponents claim it would stop performers such as Beyonce and Madonna appearing on TV
It takes a platoon of chefs, litres of brandy and rum, and almost 100kg of dried fruit
food + drink
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Paul Walker: Fans hold memorial and car rally for Fast & Furious actor
Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
Paul Walker death caused by speed alone
Scores injured after partial ceiling collapses on to audience at Apollo Theatre in London's West End
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 America's 'virgin births'? One in 200 mothers 'became pregnant without having sex'
- 2 North Koreans are gasping for the truth: Let's give it to them
- 4 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 5 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- < Previous
- Next >
£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: QA .NET Agile UNIX LIN...
£35000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: C# ASP.NET SQL Develop...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: C# .NET SQL Developer (Software Developer, Softw...
£500 - £650 per day: Harrington Starr: Excellent opportunity for Murex Subject...