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5 shocking facts about drinking

By: Good Magazine on Dec. 31, 2010, 2:05 p.m.
PBR on the brain

Photo: Brianna Harden

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Alcohol shrinks your brain

Not the most shocking statement given how some people act after a few drinks, but it’s a surprise to see it backed by science. This study conducted at the Boston University School of Public Health in 2008, was looking to see if alcohol prevented brain shrinkage, which apparently is a normal (though unfortunate) part of the aging process. They found quite the opposite: Alcohol consumption seemed to accelerate shrinkage and, once again, it was worse for women than for men. While only heavy-drinking males were affected, in women, the moderate ones were, too. The kind of good news is that the size differences between the brains of the abstainers, the former drinkers and the current drinkers — while measurable — were all small.