Studies show that heavy drinkers can have a harder time with things like osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, ulcers, memory loss, and certain mood disorders. But according to the Lancet guidance document, dementia risk increases with age, making the possibility of further studies very intriguing. If actual aging of the brain is not the cause of dementias, could one component be the cumulative or long-term effect of some of the substances and conditions that put people at risk? Although this is just one study, the authors plan further investigation into the connection between psychiatric conditions, alcohol and other drugs, and brain aging.

alcohol aging

That damage can, in turn, contribute to diabetes, heart disease, neurodegenerative illnesses and other age-related conditions you want to avoid. This is can result in breast development in men and can even cause men to carry weight in places like the breasts, hips, and thighs rather than the stomach.

How Alcohol Is Metabolized

Calm, rational, caring discussions are the best way to go about addressing this matter, but the senior must be willing to participate and reduce their alcohol intake. Millions of people consume alcohol, but each person has their own unique relationship with this substance. While many are able to drink in moderation without it negatively impacting their health, relationships and careers, alcohol use can become problematic for some individuals. Alcohol has a particularly strong impact on seniors, even when consumed infrequently. Aging might seem complicated, but as you drink aged spirits, you’ll notice some patterns, due to aging limits and also just prime ages for certain spirits. Cognac has to be aged a minimum two years but may be aged as many as eight years and beyond.

If Mom can’t remember she’s had a drink or that it is a problem, it may be tough to get her to stop. Years ago, we came across elders who enlisted all kinds of helpers when they couldn’t drive to easily get alcohol. It wasn’t uncommon to find that they took taxis or even hired someone to go get the alcohol for them. Of course, there are even easier and more convenient options now. Alcohol used with large doses of acetaminophen may cause liver damage. The study by University of Southern California researchers looked at more than 17,000 MRI brain scans. Groups of studies of alcohol that show inconclusive, mixed, or inconsistent results do not mean that use of alcohol is safe; they mean that no safe level of consumption has been established.

The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider. Worsen various health conditions like osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, ulcers, memory loss and mood disorders. Health professionals who care for older adults should routinely ask about alcohol use using short evidence-based questionnaires. Brief interventions can be used during medical visits to address concerns with alcohol use. These interventions should emphasize education on how the health risks of alcohol use change as people age. Health professionals should also routinely ask older adults about whether they use any other drugs when drinking alcohol and counsel them about the risks of combining alcohol with other drugs.

An aging loved one may tell you that it is the “only pleasure” they have anymore. Our options may be limited to providing supportive care or devices, such as a personal alert system, and limiting their access to alcohol. Taking anxiety and depression medication while also drinking can render the medications useless, and they can also make you feel more sensitive to to alcohol and cause liver damage. Like aspirin, drinking while also taking an acetaminophen like Tylenol or Nyquil can cause liver and kidney problems. Alcohol abuse can cause bones to wither and contribute to the proliferation of osteoporosis. The NIH says that heavy drinking can affect the body’s calcium levels, which are important to maintaining strong bones. Certain hormones that men and women produce assist in maintaining strong bones through the production of osteoblasts and other bone-supporting cells.

  • Specifically, alcohol can have a huge negative impact on your vitamin A level, which is a very important antioxidant for your skin/body and it is vital in the regeneration of new cells.
  • Many spirits are aged in some form of wooden cask or barrel, often oak, which imparts tannins and vanillin, among other characteristics, and is readily available.
  • Grandma Betty was a teetotaler all her life until she started having a drink each night to help her get to sleep after her husband died.
  • This redness can also turn into broken capillaries or vessels that can burst, especially around the nose and face.
  • While taste is subjective, there were definite visible results from the aging process.
  • Publications specific to alcohol effects regarding gender differences, chronic pain, psychiatric disorders, memory decline and dementia, and other relevant topics can be found on the Publications page.

Alcohol used with large doses of the pain killer acetaminophen can raise the risk of liver damage. Aspirin can cause bleeding in the stomach and intestines; the risk of bleeding is higher if you take aspirin while drinking alcohol. Some research has shown that as people age they become more sensitive to alcohol’s effects. In other words, the same amount of alcohol can have a greater effect on an older person than on someone who is younger. Alcoholism affects many older individuals, whether it has been a lifelong problem or become a relatively new dependence. Seniors are notoriously stubborn and most are capable of making their own decisions, so family members and friends are either largely unaware of any substance use issues or they avoid discussing the topic altogether. You’ll start receiving the latest news, benefits, events, and programs related to AARP’s mission to empower people to choose how they live as they age.

Health & Wellness

The content on is brought to you by American Addiction Centers , a nationwide network of leading substance abuse and behavioral treatment facilities. If you’re questioning your relationship with alcohol, Manning suggested that you first try to go 30 days without it and see how you feel. But that doesn’t mean you should also give up your social life. She said the worst thing you can do during this process is isolate yourself. Drinking water between alcoholic beverages “will combat ethanol-induced dehydration, which will help your skin to look better the next day,” Koskinen said.

alcohol aging

The extreme cold and heat along with mild periods in between require a longer time in the barrels in order to obtain the correct mellowing and barrel notes in the whiskey. In the case of rum, the time is going to depend significantly on the location where it is produced, which can be anywhere in the world. A rum that is aged in New England may need 2 to 3 more years in the barrel than a rum aged in the Caribbean. In hotter climates, the aging process is naturally sped up so it is unnecessary to keep tequila or rum in barrels for more than a few years. Tequila reaches a peak at around 2 to 3 years and rum averages about 8 years. The climate of the region is the main factor in how long a spirit needs to be aged to its optimal potential.

The Link Between Alcohol And Aging

By drinking in excess, you actually speed up the aging process because you are already losing collagen and elasticity as you age. Your facial Transitional living skin is already so delicate as compared to other areas of your body. We are constantly exposed to pollution, smog, smoke and the sun.

it’s not, mostly, certain beers are aged in used cognac barrels. As temperatures drop in the barrel room, the pores of each American oak barrel contract and expel alcohol. These frequent shifts allow more rum to come into contact with the oak during maturation. No need to introduce agitation or sonics—the altitude does the work. Spirits typically barrel-aged for a decade or more are hardly cost effective for new distillers looking to grow their business quickly. Many have turned to unorthodox aging methods to speed up the process, from using undersized barrels to ultrasonic sound waves.

The problem is that alcohol also becomes more toxic with age. “There are more older people in general,” Agronin says. “And because of medicine, people are able to mitigate to some extent the impact of alcohol better than they could in the past.” Today more than 10 percent of adults 65 and older are binge drinkers, according Sober companion to a 2019 study of nearly 11,000 U.S. adults published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The Manual is simple — we show men how to live a life that is more engaged. As our name implies, we offer a suite of expert guides on a wide range of topics, including fashion, food, drink, travel, and grooming.

alcohol aging

Alcohol-related blackouts were more common among those who consumed alcohol while using other drugs (20%) compared to those who did not (6%). Other reasons were to cope with stress (10%), to help with mood (9%), out of boredom (8%), or to help with pain (5%). Alcohol interact with other substances and with other mental health and physical health conditions in the body. Although some effects have been identified, the full extent of these interactions are not fully identified and those that have been are not associated with positive outcomes. Additional research on alcohol and its effects on the brain has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Veterans Affairs since the 1970s at The Oscar-Berman Lab. Publications specific to alcohol effects regarding gender differences, chronic pain, psychiatric disorders, memory decline and dementia, and other relevant topics can be found on the Publications page.

More On Alcohol Abuse

In older adults, too much alcohol can lead to balance problems and falls, which can result in hip or arm fractures and other injuries. Older people have thinner bones than younger people, so their Sober living houses bones break more easily. Studies show that the rate of hip fractures in older adults increases with alcohol use. Some medicines, such as cough syrups and laxatives, have high alcohol content.

Below, you’ll find a variety of products that all, in some way, will aid in the aging or flavoring process. We encourage you to look through them all and find the one that’ll work best for you. If you’ve only got a little bit of spirit you want to play around with, an oak stave might be the best. If you’re looking to do a larger amount, you’ll definitely want to explore oak barrel options. Taking cough syrup, which is scientifically named dextromethorphan, already has adverse effects, in addition to causing drowsiness and difficulty concentrating, so drinking alcohol along with it can exacerbate these issues. Drinking too much alcohol while also taking aspirin—a pain reliever—can result in internal bleeding and liver damage, as both alcohol and aspirin put significant strain on the stomach and liver.

alcohol aging

One of the best things you can do for your all-around health and appearance is to drink less alcohol. But at Ria Health, we recognize that this can be easier said than done. Many people struggle with alcohol dependency, and it can be hard to know how to begin to cut back. Image by AJ Robbie from UnsplashAlcohol doesn’t just affect you superficially. It can impact your physical, emotional, and spiritual health, too—making you not only look but also feel older than you are. Alcohol’s all-around negative effect on nutrition means that heavy drinkers often become malnourished.

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The effects of alcohol abuse/misuse on the aging process include hypertension, cardiac dysrhythmia, cancers, gastrointestinal disorders, neurocognitive deficits, bone loss, and emotional disturbances especially depression. On the other hand, research also shows that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may protect healthy adults from developing coronary heart disease. The American Heart Association cautions people not to start drinking, if you are not already drinking. However, some adults age 50–80 reported more risky alcohol use. For example, 23% reported drinking three or more drinks on a typical day of drinking, and one in ten older adults who drink have combined alcohol with other drugs.

We don’t boss you around; we’re simply here to bring authenticity and understanding to all that enriches our lives as men on a daily basis. The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Oak chips are another way to add an aging element to your liquid. With an increased surface area, oak chips impart flavor alcohol effects on the body and color in a fairly expedient fashion. Other types of chips are also available, so it again comes down to what flavors you are looking to add to your spirit. Alcohol already makes you feel drowsy, so drinking along with it can make the side effects, which include confusion, diarrhea, and impaired motor skills, even worse.