Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Just Three Pints of Beer a Week

I am not entirely sure that the conclusions are fully warranted, but it clear that sustaining high level brain function and chronic beer consumption are seriously contra indicated.  The more serious problem is all this is also tied into our social behavior and sexual protocols.  So it is not a case of simply changing habits for the majority of people. 

The clear point in all this is that three pints or three glasses are a bit too much.  I would like to understand if we can find a threshold in this that may allow one glass per session for the known benefits.  It could even be as convenient as one glass or pint with each significant meal.

For now this is a powerful caution to discover how to discipline your drinking.  I have found that it is possible to grind though a pint of Guinness or a glass of wine by slow sipping for a whole evening or meal.  The key is strong flavor.

Just three pints of beer a week can dull your brain by 20% and make it harder to react to stimulus

Drinking beer and wine regularly permanently inhibits concentration
Research showed that binge drinking affected both attention and memory

PUBLISHED: 21:11 GMT, 6 July 2013 | UPDATED: 21:11 GMT, 6 July 2013

Drinking three pints of beer – or three medium-sized glasses of wine – once a week permanently dulls the brain, according to a study.

Researchers discovered that regular drinkers have to use almost 20 per cent more brain-power than normal to carry out simple tasks and find it progressively more difficult to concentrate.

The three-year study at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain compared 26 ‘binge-drinking’ students – those who regularly drank a minimum of six units of alcohol, or around three pints, in one sitting at least once a week – with 31 others who did not regularly drink as much. 

Mine's a pint: Research showed that heavy drinkers' brains had to work harder to achieve the same result as those who do not regularly drink

Later, when sober, the students were asked to react to different flashing symbols. 

There was no measurable difference in speed or accuracy of response between the two groups, and no deterioration over time.

However, brain-power measurements showed that ‘binge-drinkers’ had to  work harder to achieve the same result. 

Risks: Drinking beer regularly permanently dulls brain function

With the more sober group, peak brain activity stayed  at about 18 microvolts while the drinkers started at 20 microvolts in their first year and went up to 22 microvolts in their third year.

It suggests that young drinkers ‘experience anomalies in neural activity’ involved with attention and working memory, the researchers wrote in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism.

Emily Robinson, director of the campaign group Alcohol Concern, said: ‘This shows why we need to change the culture where it’s seen as the norm to drink excessively  at university.

Risk: Too many alcoholic drinks can affect concentration as well as organ function

‘Binge-drinking carries lots of risks in terms of the immediate safety of students, but also in terms of their future health and the likelihood of developing an alcohol problem later in life.’ 

But Paul McCormack, of Oxford Brookes University Students’ Union, said: ‘Learning at university is not limited to the classroom. 

'While having a few drinks on a regular basis may dull your senses slightly, the gains far outweigh the disadvantages.’