Wine and brain power don’t mix

Wine ‘worse’ for the brain than
beer

Drinking the odd glass of wine at
home or in the pub may not be as good for you as you thought it might be.

Scientists say wine damages the
brain more than beer affecting the hippocampus.

That is the part of the brain that
deals with memory and spatial awareness.

Researchers in Germany found wine
shrinks the hippocampus by as much as 10 per cent.

They say because women usually
drink more wine than beer, they are more likely to be affected.

The study found that in
non-alcoholics the hippocampus was 3.85ml.

In beer drinkers it was 3.4ml and
in spirit drinkers 2.9ml. Wine drinkers had the smallest of 2.8ml.

Some of the beer drinkers tested
had drunk twice as much alcohol as the wine drinkers.

Controlling the brain

The hippocampus is deep in the
brain’s temporal lobes. They are at both sides of your head.

It controls memory, navigation,
speech, hearing and spatial awareness. When it is affected by alcohol it can
also cause feelings of disorientation.

It could also explain why we forget
what we are doing mid-task.

The researchers found that beer
drinkers also had the lowest levels of a compound in the blood called
homocysteine.

That is found to be linked to
higher rates of heart disease and strokes.

Recent research on wine drinking
suggests it has health benefits including a lower risk of heart disease,
strokes and some cancers.

But alcohol has also been linked to
a wide range of illnesses including an increased risk of mouth cancer, high
blood pressure, ulcers and liver disease.

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