If you’re like most people, you’ve had at least one person
say to you, “Don’t drink alcohol, it’ll kill your brain
cells!” Most of us first heard it sometime around high school, and
often as a scare tactic from concerned parents.
Considering that when people drink, they can slur their words, lose their
balance, say and do strange things, and pass out, it makes sense why the
killing brain cells theory was so easy to accept by previous generations.
But is this theory even true?
While alcohol can damage several vital organs in the body, it does
not kill brain cells – that is a classic “old wives’ tale”
brought to us during U.S. Prohibition, according to YouTube’s SciShow.
American Temperance Movement
Around the time that the 18th Amendment was passed, the American Temperance
movement spread a rumor about how alcohol killed brain cells. Since drunkards
acted silly, said strange things, forgot what they said or did, and passed
out in all kinds of places, this rumor was not only widely accepted, it
spread through our communities like wildfire.
Funny thing was, there was zero scientific research at the time to back
the rumor up.
From that point forward, people believed that alcohol killed brain cells
until 1993, 60 years after the Prohibition Act was repealed. That’s
when scientific research concluded without a doubt that alcohol did not
kill brain cells.
How did the researchers arrive at this conclusion? They compared the brain
cells of alcoholics with the brain cells of non-drinkers and they were
not able to find any notable differences.
When alcohol reaches the brain, it does do something: It damages connective
tissue at the end of neurons, thereby disabling its function. In effect,
communication along the neurons is interrupted making it harder for the
person to focus or complete even simple tasks.
The human body is incredibly resilient and for the most part, forgiving
when we indulge in alcohol on occasion. A night of heavy drinking usually
does minor damage and does not result in cell death.
While alcohol doesn’t kill brain cells, it certainly kills people,
whether from alcoholism or
drunk driving accidents. So, if you’re going to indulge, go right ahead, but like everything
in this world, do it in moderation and if you’re going to drive,
call Uber or Lyft!
Need an Orange County DUI attorney? Call today for a free consultation!