Binge Drinking More Damaging Than Previously Thought

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Per experimental study of chronic alcohol use combined with frequent binges.
Per experimental study of chronic alcohol use combined with frequent binges.

HealthDay News — Chronic drinking combined with binge drinking may be more destructive than previously thought, according to an animal study published online in Biomolecules.

Shivendra Shukla, PhD, a professor of medical pharmacology and physiology at the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia, and colleagues looked at how chronic alcohol use, repeat binge-drinking episodes, and a combination of both affected the livers of mice over four weeks.

Those with both types of alcohol exposure had the highest amounts of liver damage, the investigators found. Individually, either chronic alcohol use or repeat binge-drinking episodes caused moderate liver damage when compared to mice not exposed to alcohol.

"This outcome came as no surprise," Shukla said in a university news release. "However, in the mice exposed to both chronic use and repeat binge episodes, liver damage increased tremendously. Even more shocking was the extent of fatty deposits in the livers of those exposed to chronic plus binge alcohol. It was approximately 13 times higher than the control group."

Reference

Shukla SD, et al. In Vivo Acute on Chronic Ethanol Effects in Liver: A Mouse Model Exhibiting Exacerbated Injury, Altered Metabolic and Epigenetic Responses. Biomolecules. 2015; 5(4):3280-94.

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