Medically Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, MS, DO on November 06, 2022 Alcohol is linked to age in lots of ways. You have to be old enough to drink it legally, and once you are, it can age you faster than normal. Heavy drinking can have a direct effect on certain parts of your body and on your mental health as you get older. And it can have some unhealthy indirect effects, as well. As you get older, you have less water in your body and – for reasons that aren’t quite clear -you also feel thirsty less often. That makes seniors more likely to be dehydrated, Drinking alcohol can pull more water out of your body and make your chances of dehydration even higher. Our skin gets thinner and drier as we age. It’s a natural process called intrinsic aging, and it’s something you can’t control. Extrinsic aging is when your skin ages faster than it should because of your environment and how you live. That’s where alcohol comes in – it dehydrates you and dries out your skin. You can slow that down by drinking less. Alcohol can affect the way some vital organs work and make them age faster. While heavy drinkers are more likely to have cirrhosis (permanent damage to your liver), even moderate drinking can lead to problems like fatty liver disease. It also can make it harder for your kidneys to do their thing. Every alcoholic drink goes “straight to your head,” or at least to your brain. Heavy drinking over a long time can shrink brain cells and lead to alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD) and certain types of dementia, Symptoms of that include lack of judgment, organization, or emotional control, trouble staying focused, and anger issues. Alcohol can affect the way your body fights off life-threatening illnesses like tuberculosis or pneumonia, This can be especially serious for older people. Researchers are also studying the possibility that alcoholic liver disease might be caused, at least in part, by your immune system attacking healthy body tissues. Red wine has antioxidants called polyphenols that may help your cholesterol level and protect your blood vessels. If you drink it in moderation (about one glass a day), some studies show that it might be good for your heart. But too much can lead to an abnormal heartbeat and high blood pressure. So if you don’t drink, this isn’t a good reason to start. People who drink may notice that they’re “feeling no pain” sooner as they get older. That’s mainly because our bodies gain fat and lose muscle in our senior years and it takes longer for us to break down alcohol and get it out of our system. It also can make hangovers last longer. Alcohol may not only make you more likely to get sick as you age, it also can make common medical problems worse. Studies show that heavy drinkers can have a harder time with things like osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, ulcers, cancer, memory loss, and certain mood disorders. The older you get, the longer alcohol stays in your system. So it’s more likely to be there when you take medicine. And alcohol can affect the way your meds work. It can also lead to serious side effects. For example, drinking alcohol when you take aspirin can raise your chances of stomach problems or internal bleeding. Broken bones from a stumble are a serious health issue for seniors. Heavy drinking can make them even more likely. It’s because alcohol can affect your balance and sense of judgment. Over time, it also can damage the cerebellum, the area in your brain that handles balance and coordination. The idea of having a drink to relax before bedtime may not be a good one, especially as you get older. Instead of lulling you into a restful night, alcohol can actually keep you from getting to sleep and lead to restless slumber. That can be particularly hard on seniors, who are already more likely to wake up often or have a sleep disorder like insomnia, As with most things, moderation is key. People older than 65 who don’t take any medications should average no more than one drink a day (seven per week) and have no more than three at one sitting. (A drink is one 12-ounce can or bottle of beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or one 1.5-ounce shot of an 80-proof or less liquor.) Talk with your doctor to find out what’s right for you.
What’s worse coffee or alcohol?
Coffee or beer? Your choice could affect your lifespan
- The substances influence the length of telomeres – the end parts of DNA
- Telomeres get shorter as a person ages, when they’re too short, the cell dies
- Shorter telomeres are associated with poor health and an increased chance of premature death
- Caffeine was found to shorten telomeres, but alcohol lengthened them
- Updated: 13:09 BST, 6 December 2013
- Next time you congratulate yourself for choosing a coffee over a beer, you might want to think again.
- Researchers have discovered that caffeine can shorten life expectancy, while alcohol can increase it.
- Scientists at Tel Aviv University found that caffeine shortens, and alcohol lengthens, telomeres – the end parts of chromosomal DNA.
Researchers have discovered that caffeine can shorten life expectancy while alcohol can increase it
- Just as the plastics tips of shoelaces prevent fraying, telomeres keep chromosomes stable and prevent deterioration when the cells containing them divide.
- Telomeres become shorter as a person gets older as every time a cell duplicates, the chromosomes are copied into the new cell with slightly shorter telomeres.
- When the telomeres become too short, the cell dies.
- Shorter telomeres are associated with poor health and an increased chance of premature death.
‘For the first time we’ve identified a few environmental factors that alter telomere length, and we’ve shown how they do it,’ said Professor Martin Kupiec. ‘What we learned may one day contribute to the prevention and treatment of human diseases.’ The researchers set out to establish if different environmental factors had an impact on telomere length in yeast cells. The substances influence the length of telomeres (pictured in yellow) which are the end parts of chromosomal DNA and which usually shorten with age
- They found temperature and pH changes had no effect.
- However, they found that telomere length was reduced by even low levels of caffeine, while it was increased by alcohol.
- The researchers say that even an espresso contains enough caffeine to affect telomere length, as does five per cent ethanol solution.
- To understand these changes, the researchers scanned 6,000 strains of the yeast, each with a different gene deactivated.
- They then conducted genetic tests on the strains with the longest and shortest telomeres, revealing that two genes, Rap1 and Rif1, are the main players controlling environmental factors and telomere length.
- In total, some 400 genes interact to maintain telomere length, they noted, underscoring the importance of this gene network in maintaining the stability of the genome.
- Strikingly, most of these yeast genes are also present in the human genome.
‘This is the first time anyone has analysed a complex system in which all of the genes affecting it are known,’ said Professor Kupiec. ‘It turns out that telomere length is something that’s very exact, which suggests that precision is critical and should be protected from environmental effects.’ : Coffee or beer? Your choice could affect your lifespan
Why do Asians age so slowly?
Abstract – Traditionally, Asians have been thought to age more gracefully than Caucasians. The resistance to aging in the Asian patient was credited to the thicker dermis of Asian skin that contains greater collagen and the darker pigment that protects against photoaging.
- Although these statements are true, the authors propose a new paradigm that explains how the illusion of Asian youthfulness may be understood.
- The “baby model” purports that the Asian face has many attributes similar to an infant, including a wider and rounder face, higher eyebrow, fuller upper lid, lower nasal bridge, flatter midface, apparently more protuberant lips, and more receded chin.
These commonalities between the infant and the Asian compel the viewer to perceive the Asian face as more youthful. However, the Asian face is subjected to a greater amount of gravitational force due to weaker skeletal support, heavier soft tissue, larger amount of malar fat, thicker skin, and a weaker chin.
Do coffee drinkers look younger?
Other Benefits of Drinking Coffee – So while drinking coffee itself won’t likely make your skin look younger, caffeine can, there is nothing wrong with drinking coffee in moderation, even if the act of drinking it won’t really help you appear any younger. There are several other health benefits of coffee that make it worthwhile to drink in many cases. These include:
Drinking coffee can help you burn fat and increase physical performance. Coffee can lower your risk for many diseases and ailments like diabetes, dementia, Parkinson’s, strokes and others. Coffee contains several important and vital nutrients. Drinking coffee has shown to be helpful in the fight against depression and helping people be happier,
Does whiskey age your face?
Side Effects of Alcohol – If you drank enough for a throbbing head and a dodgy stomach, then it should come as no surprise: booze is a toxin for our skin, too. Alcohol dehydrates our bodies. Aside from making you want to guzzle a gallon of water, this also leads to dry, dull skin, enlarged pores, and a loss of elasticity.
- Well, that’s going to contribute to the development of wrinkles,
- From whisky to White Russians, alcohol deprives our skin of much-needed nutrients and moisture.
- And guess what? Those are the two key ingredients to youthful, radiant-looking skin.
- In fact, alcohol is a diuretic, like caffeine.
- Which means it actively draws water from the body.
That’s why you’re always running to the loo on a night out. Then, of course, there’s the inflammation. Even a cheeky tipple will cause your skin to flush, grow red, and become inflamed. If you already struggle to manage acne or rosacea, you’ll be familiar with how a few drinks can worsen your skin on a large scale.