According to experts, higher iron levels in the brain has been measured with the consumption of seven or more units of alcohol per week. New research in PLOS Medicine finds that such iron accumulation may be linked to neurodegenerative diseases.
“Our objectives were to investigate evidence in support of causal relationships between alcohol consumption and brain iron levels and to examine whether higher brain iron represents a potential pathway to alcohol-related cognitive deficits,” Anya Topiwala and her fellow colleagues wrote in their findings.
As many as 20,965 subjects from the UK Biobank were examined as part of the study. Their alcohol consumption habits and brain activity using MRI scans were looked at.
From the findings: “To the best of our knowledge, this study represents the largest investigation of moderate alcohol consumption and iron homeostasis to date. Alcohol consumption above 7 units weekly associated with higher brain iron. Iron accumulation represents a potential mechanism for alcohol-related cognitive decline.”
The findings were published online on July 14, 2022.