Q: How many brain cells are killed by one drink?
A: None, actually. The longstanding belief that alcohol kills brain cells is actually not true. Well, at least, it’s kind of not true. According to a study performed at the University of Buffalo on the effects of alcohol on brain function, alcohol doesn’t damage the cells but the dendrites. The nerve cells in the brain have small branches at the end like a tree which are called dendrites. Dendrites are responsible for bringing messages into the cell. Alcohol damages and destroys the dendrites causing a disruption in the incoming messages.
Another researcher at Washington University in St. Louis discovered that alcohol bonds with fatty acids in the brain to form fatty-acid-ethyl-ethers. These molecules attach themselves to nerve cells altering chemical and electrical signals and slowing cell communication.
The good news is most of this damage is reversible and the brain will repair the damage. Nerve cell structure does change so most function will return to normal but some does not. In fact, moderate alcohol consumption has shown to have a positive effect on brain function. The only danger occurs from long-term alcohol abuse or extremely high proof alcohol which can cause damage to the actual cells.
Wine and Skin of Grapes
Q: Why do some grapes make red wine and some make white?
A: The color of a wine is usually determined by the color of the skin of the grape. White wines are made from grapes that have yellow or green skin and red wines are made from the dark red or purple grapes. The liquid squeezed from a grape is clear in color so some types of white wines and rosé are made by removing the juice from a red grape before it has much contact with the skin.
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