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Healthy Drinking

answered 07:16 AM EST, Mon March 24, 2014
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anonymous anonymous
If drinking alcohol kills neurons in the brain is there any such thing as healthy drinking? If a person drinks 2 glasses of wine a day for 40 years that adds up to almost 30 000 alcoholic drinks by the time a person is 60, assuming they started drinking alcohol at around 20 years old. Wouldn’t having 30 000 alcoholic drinks be pretty bad for your brain by the time you got to the age at which you might start to have to worry about dementia and Alzheimers?

Jennifer Hamilton Says...

Jennifer Hamilton J. Hamilton
LCSW, CADC

That is a very good question and I do not think the researchers have a good answer for that question. As far as the effects of larger amounts, yes, we know the impact. Here is a link to the current research put out by the National Institute on Health: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa63/aa63.htm

My recommendation is if you are concerned about the neurological effects, abstain. The recommendations given for moderate drinking also recommend spacing drinks an hour or hour and a half apart which reduces the intoxication effect. This should decrease the chance that the alcohol will have a negative impact on the body in general. The current research supports two drinks per day, never more and fourteen drinks per week, never more up until age 65. After that, 2 drinks per day and never more than 7 in a week which indicates to me that as we age, the alcohol is impacting us, by I cannot say for sure. I am a happy abstainer.

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Page last updated Mar 24, 2014

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