Adolescent drinking is closely associated with changes in the metabolite profile, a study has found.
The study from the University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital shows that changes were found to correlate with reduced brain grey matter volume, especially in young women who are heavy drinkers.
Researcher Noora Heikkinen said, "For instance, heavy-drinking adolescents showed increased concentrations of 1-methylhistamine, which, in turn, was associated with reduced brain grey matter volume."
The study was a 10-year follow-up study among adolescents living in eastern Finland.
The researchers determined the metabolite profiles of heavy- and light-drinking young adults and used Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to measure their brain grey matter volumes.
These two methods have not been used in combination before, although previous studies have shown an association between heavy drinking and metabolite profile changes.
Heikkinen added, "Although adolescent drinking is declining on average, we can see polarization: some adolescents are very heavy drinkers and they also use other substances."
The findings indicated drinking that is not considered excessive has adverse effects on young people, both on their metabolism and brain grey matter volume.
The full findings are present in the Journal- Alcohol.