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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Brain Cell Alert

Good news for all of you that have been worrying about alcohol slowly killing off your brain cells.  I was just watching the "Miracle Berry" episode of "Food Detectives" on The Food Network.  They (Jake Ward from Popular Science magazine, an expert in a white lab coat, which makes him an unimpeachable expert as far as I'm concerned (so whatever he says must be true)) said that unless you have a serious drinking problem, alcohol will not kill brain cells.    The only way for alcohol to kill brain cells is to crack open your skull and pour alcohol directly onto your brain (not recommended).  This was good news to me, since my wife was watching the show and waiting to pounce.  Jake also mentioned that light to moderate drinking may reduce the risk of dementia.  This shifts cocktails into the "plus" column as far as health is concerned.  (Don't forget the anti-oxidants in the limes in Margaritas, Rum and Coke®, and other cocktails.)

This doesn't mean that there are no physiological reactions from alcohol: reaction time, judgement, and inhibition are all impaired, which can cause you problems that may have serious consequences, or that there are not serious consequences to heavy, long term drinking (there are).  It does, however, mean that if you've been worrying about a cocktail or two killing your brain, you can stop worrying.  That's good news.  I was worried about all of those Cranberry Champagne Cocktails that I had on Valentine's Day.

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