Advertisement

Mid-Life Boozing Speeds Up Brain Aging

One study finds that downing more than two alcoholic drinks a day may cause trouble with memory, attention and reasoning in men.

Medically reviewed in February 2021

Is it getting harder to remember the key points of that big meeting you had at the office last week? If so, maybe it's time to check your alcohol consumption. Research shows that midlife drinking speeds up aging of the brain.

Drinking dangers
In a British study published in the journal Neurology, researchers surveyed more than 7,500 middle-aged men and women several times about their alcohol use over a 10-year period. Then the researchers gave the participants three rounds of mental tests covering memory, attention and reasoning skills when the participants were between 55 and 80 years old. The results showed that men who drank about 2.5 or more drinks a day suffered faster declines in all these areas compared to men who drank less or not at all. In fact, the heavy drinkers started showed mental decline up to six years sooner than nondrinkers—some as early as age 55.

There was good news for light or moderate drinkers: In the study, enjoying up to two drinks per day didn’t appear to have any effect on thinking skills. And women who had one drink per day actually showed less cognitive decline than women who abstained from alcohol.

Stay middle of the road
You've heard the term, "Everything in moderation," right? It's okay to de-stress and enjoy a drink or two after a long day. But like anything else, there's more risk involved when you overdo it. So, if you're going to drink, make the choice to do it responsibly. And keep this in mind: There's increasing evidence that moderate alcohol consumption may come with certain health benefits. And those benefits may also improve your heart health, too. Raise a glass to that one!

More On

Could It Be an Enlarged Prostate?

article

Could It Be an Enlarged Prostate?
Up and down all night making frequent trips to the bathroom? Frequent urination is one sign of an enlarged prostate, or what your doc might call benig...
The 10 Deadliest Men’s Health Conditions

slideshow

The 10 Deadliest Men’s Health Conditions
Learn the biggest reasons most American men die, and how you can decrease your risk.
Treatment Options for ED

article

Treatment Options for ED
These days, you have a whole range of options for dealing with erectile dysfunction (ED). The exact treatment you use will depend on what's causing yo...
All About Men: Facts About Your Frame

article

All About Men: Facts About Your Frame
Guess what? Guys can get bone problems like osteoporosis, too. An estimated 12 million men are at risk for the disease. Calcium and vitamin D help pr...
Stop Jock Itch

article

Stop Jock Itch
Some itches are just too embarrassing to scratch. But if you've ever been, or currently are, bothered by an irritating itch "down there," you know how...