Fact Check 4: “Study finds, Drinking alcohol can clear brain waste”

Many articles have one thing in common, “A recent study finds”. They all claim their information is from another source and valid. Yet, i’m sure most people don’t actually take the time to look into that recent study. To find a good example to work with I typed, “A recent study” into the google search engine and clicked onto the “News” section of google. Many different articles came up, but the one that caught my attention was,

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source: MedicalNewstoday.com

As you can see in the first sentences introducing the article, It states that,”In a mouse study, scientists from the University of Rochester Medical center… .”

I also took note that the article claims to already be fact-checked by a woman named Jasmin Collier, but was published by Honor Whiteman. However, I first wanted to check into the articles impact factor. I attempted to type in the title of the article into google, and then the title of the source, unfortunately, nothing came up. So I decided to resort to my second step and look up the author of the article on Google Scholar.

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Immediately I notice that Whiteman has a history of article writing, and that all of his articles have something in common. They are all related to health in one way or another.  I also can see that all of his articles are cited, which is another good sign. I also noticed that the majority of his articles are posted to Medical News Today. In addition, I also looked up the woman who fact checked the article; but nothing came up.

Out of curiosity, I decided to type into google, “Drinking alcohol can clear brain waste”. And this is what came up,

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I was surprised to see that other news sites were covering the same article. In particular, Fox News covered the article as well. This is a site that I’m familiar with and have trusted in the past.

After looking into the author and fact checker and google searching to see what other sites were discussing the same topic,  I decided it would probably be wise to look into the actual source that this article was citing.  Within the article, the source was cited and linked. So it was very easy to find.

The article did contain promising information with plenty of data and evidence to back up it’s claim.

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Source: nature.com

In this study conducted with rats, the picture above it shows the brain activity with different amounts of alcohol consumed. “Low doses of chronic ethanol intake were associated with a significant decrease in GFAP expression, with little change in the cytokine profile compared with the other groups.” In conclusion the study found that low doses of ethanol increase glymphatic function. For those who may not be familiar with the term, glymphatic function is a functional waste clearance pathway for the vertebrate central nervous system (CNS). So the articles claims were true! Drink up! (Just not too much)


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