Single episode of binge drinking can have significant negative effect on health
A new study by scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School has found that a single episode of binge drinking can have significant negative health effects resulting in bacteria leaking from the gut, leading to increased levels of toxins in the blood.
The study showed that these bacterial toxins, called endotoxins, caused the body to produce immune cells involved in fever, inflammation, and tissue destruction.
"We found that a single alcohol binge can elicit an immune response, potentially impacting the health of an otherwise healthy individual," lead author Gyongyi Szabo, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, vice chair of the Department of Medicine and associate dean for clinical and translational sciences at UMMS, said.
"Our observations suggest that an alcohol binge is more dangerous than previously thought," Szabo said.
Binge drinking is defined by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) as a pattern of drinking alcohol that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08g/dL or above.
For a typical adult, this corresponds with consuming five or more drinks for men, or four or more drinks for women, in about two hours, depending on body weight.
Binge drinking is known to pose safety risks associated with car crashes and injuries. Over the long term, binge drinking can damage the liver and other organs, but this is key evidence that a single alcohol binge can cause damaging health effects such as bacterial leakage from the gut into the blood stream, according to a statement released by George Koob, PhD, director of the NIAAA.
The study is published online in PLOS ONE.
(Posted on 17-05-2014)