Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Do people grow new brain cells?"
I always hear that doing drugs and drinking kills brain cells. Is this true? Do brain cells come back? I'm worried that I'll become stupid if I start drinking and I just turned 21 so I want to start drinking.
Despite the fact that many people seem to think that alcohol kills brain cells, there is no scientific evidence that this actually occurs. That is to say, the concentration of alcohol in our blood when we drink alcohol doesn't reach a concentration to actually kill cells. If it does, there is no evidence for this. With that said, there are many negative effects that alcohol has on the body that you should be aware of prior to starting drinking. Alcohol can have toxic effects on the heart and liver. People that drink heavily for many years often get heart failure. Other people develop cirrhosis of the liver which is just as deadly a disease. People that drink too much sometimes develop vitamin deficiencies that can effect their thinking. While these are all issues that you should think about, it is widely accepted that it is safe for people to consume between one and two alcoholic beverages per day depending on if you are male or female. Thus, the trick to drinking alcohol safely is moderation. You should discuss this issue with your primary care physician prior to drinking. He or she can give you pointed advice on how to consume alcohol in moderation so that it does not harm your health.
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