A drink a day cripples your brain: Researchers discover chronic alcohol use kills stem cells in key regions, harming female brains the worst

Daily booze may harm the brain, especially if you are a woman, recent research shows. An animal study published in the journal Stem Cell Reports has revealed that frequent alcohol intake may lead to a significant decline in brain stem cells. A team of researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston exposed a group of mice to alcohol as part of the study.

The research team used an innovative test to determine the effects of alcohol on the brains of these animals. The experts observed that chronic alcohol drinking killed a vast majority of brain stem cells in the animals’ brains. Likewise, excessive alcohol intake led to a steep decline in the production and development of new nerve cells. The results showed that the brain region most affected by alcohol intake appeared to be the area where the new brain cells were being produced.

“The discovery that the adult brain produces stem cells that create new nerve cells provides a new way of approaching the problem of alcohol-related changes in the brain. However, before the new approaches can be developed, we need to understand how alcohol impacts the brain stem cells at different stages in their growth, in different brain regions and in the brains of both males and females,” study author Dr. Ping Wu told Medical Xpress online.

The findings also showed that female mice exhibited more severe deficits compared with male mice. According to the researchers, female mice showed worse intoxication behaviors and greater reductions in the pool of stem cells. (Related: Drinking more than 2-3 glasses of booze per day causes premature aging and wrinkles, depleting body of minerals essential for cell renewal.)

Here’s how you can cut back on alcohol intake

An article posted on the Daily Telegraph website shares a few helpful tips on how to reduce alcohol intake. These tips include:

  • Avoid drinking on an empty stomach.
  • Persuade a partner or a friend to reduce their alcohol intake with you.
  • Keep bottles of alcoholic beverages out of sight to avoid being tempted.
  • Replace alcoholic beverages with a non-alcoholic alternative.
  • Refrain from drinking in rounds.
  • Allot money for something else instead of buying booze.

Another article featured on the Reader’s Digest website offers other helpful tips in curbing alcohol intake, which include:

  • Set intake limits to only two drinks per day for men and one for women.
  • Do meet-ups and business dates at a coffee bar.
  • Refrain from drinking alone, and drinking for either courage or solace.
  • Avoid making drinking a daily habit.
  • Always think that alcohol is not supposed to quench thirst, water does.
  • Watch sporting events at someone’s home as doing so in a bar would encourage binge drinking

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