New research finds moderate drinking can damage brain function

New research finds moderate drinking can damage brain function

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A new study, published in the British Medical Journal, claims that even moderate levels of alcohol consumption can lead to brain damage. A team of researchers from the University of Oxford and University College London monitored the weekly alcohol intake and cognitive performance of 550 healthy men and women in the UK for over 30 years, from 1985 to 2015. They found the risk for damaging the parts of the brain associated with memory and spatial navigation was highest among those who drank more. However, even those who drank moderate amounts of alcohol and light drinkers were at significant risk.

If you decide to drink alcohol, it is a good idea to get the facts so you can protect your health and wellbeing.

Know your drinking habits

Keep any eye on how much you drink on average each week. Sticking to the HSE low-risk guidelines can help to reduce your risk of developing a range of health conditions. Remember, these are guidelines - not a target. 

  • 11 standard drinks (110g pure alcohol) spread out over the week for women, with at least two alcohol-free days
  • 17 standard drinks (170g pure alcohol) spread out over the week for men, with at least two alcohol-free days

Take our quick quiz to find out if you are drinking within the guidelines

Make small changes

Drinkaware research from 2017 shows that 1 in 3 people in Ireland would like to drink less often. Small changes to the way you consume alcohol and how much you drink can make a big difference to your health and wellbeing both now and in the future. The next time you drink alcohol, why not try some of our quick tips?

  • If you usually drink pints of beer or cider, why not opt for a bottle or half pint instead?
  • Never free-pour - order a free Standard Drink Measure Cup
  • Always finish one glass of wine before pouring another. Topping up makes it harder to track how much you are drinking.
  • Alcohol dehydrates the body. Alternating each drink with water will help keep you hydrated.
  • Swap out your usual full strength drink for a low-alcohol alternative.

Try out our drinks calculator to see the number of standard drinks and calories in different drinks, as well as how much money you spent and how long it will take for the alcohol to fully leave your system.