Drinking habits many consider normal have adverse consequences for health.
Researchers studied 530 U.K. non-alcohol dependent adults whose alcohol consumption and cognitive performance was repeatedly assessed for over 30 years. Brain imaging was performed at the most recent visit. After adjustment for potential confounders, even moderate alcohol use (up to 21 drinks per week) was associated with a 3x greater risk of having hippocampal atrophy than abstainers. Very light drinking (1-6 drinks per week) gave no protection relative to not drinking.
PositiveTip: Abstinence from all alcohol appears to be the best policy for long-term brain health.